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Are you part of the problem or the solution?

Go to the profile of Gauthamraj Elango

I always wanted to be a part of the solution & after 20 years I am now a part of a solution — Solve Ninja App

Twenty years ago, when I was in my Grade 3 Wednesday afternoon’s are always my favorite. It’s when we have the EVS — Environmental Classes. Those classes were exciting to me I didn’t know why during that time. Since we didn’t have EVS marks taken into consideration not many students take the classes real serious.

My EVS teacher if I remember correctly mainly talked about the environmental issues that cause problems and will create deadly hazards in future if not acted upon. Some of those issues are Water conservation, Waste Management, Air Pollution quite a few I can recall.

In that young age, I couldn’t visualize those as serious problems being from a rural town in Erode district. The issues that my teacher mentioned never existed from my young eyes during that time. I still remember seeing the village’s rice mill chimney throwing dark black smoke to the sky. We as innocent boys discuss among ourselves this smoke will go to the sky and help rockets to fly.

Even that time, I remember we had the intention to address issues that affect us directly.

Example, when leftovers from butcher shop dumped on our playgrounds we wanted to do something about it — But didn’t know what can be done. Either we close our nose or we put sand on to it.

Also, whenever we see a broken water pipe we try to reduce the flow of water by wrapping it with cloth or plastic cover. We never know or thought of who will fix it permanently.

Whenever the cricket ball falls into the drainage I remember we used a pole to remove the block so that drainage water gets cleared and easy to get the ball. We have seen the plastic covers and other garbage being dumped into the drainage causing the block. We didn’t know want can be done so we just ignored.

Open urination has never been a problem for boys in my place and it remains the same in most places. Honestly, I belong to the part of the problem of open urination. I never knew it creates hazards.

Now, after 20 years when I see the present condition of cities its being tried to keep under control through people’s and government action. While the situation in other places has become much worse.

These environmental issues are something that cannot be ignored anymore, be it a city, town, village or your street.

These are global issues that are affecting lives at the grassroots level. So, the issues can only be addressed properly when the change starts with us.

Some of us will have the intention to address these issues but don’t know how. Few of us might already tried and figured out a way. I belong to the first category I have intention but I don’t know how to do it. I always felt of having a platform to meet, learn, innovate and share with the community of like-minds. There are plenty of such social platforms available but are there anything specific to problem-solving? Anything that focuses and helps to solve a problem in my home and locality?

That’s when I get to know about Reap Benefit a social enterprise with the mission of “Democratizing Public Problem Solving”. Through local data, local community and low-cost solutions they help people address and solve issues in their locality.

With Solve Ninja, a mobile app that is available for Android and iOS anyone can be a problem solver.

App comes with a set of ideas to solve civic and environmental issues that can be replicated. These ideas are crowd-sourced by problem solvers.

App also comes along with a set of success stories of other young problem solvers who took action and solve the issues.

At times, we may need to use some products to solve problems. In the app, you can find a set of products that address common water, waste and sanitation related issues either at low-cost or no cost.

Finally, the latest version of the app has a “Reporting” and “Campaign” feature enabled. With this, you will be able to report any civic and environmental issues that become visible not only to your neighbors using the app and also to the respective authorities to take action. The campaign feature allows you to either start or join a campaign in your neighborhood.

Note: New features are added timely to make your problem-solving experience better, expect some technical issues.

Explore the app, check for other success stories, take inspiration, replicate solutions.

Here is the link —


Feel free to share thoughts/feedback/critics.

Originally published at by Gauthamraj Elango on September 10, 2018.



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Reap Benefit

Engaging youngsters in solving local environmental problems with data and solutions #energy #waste #water #sanitation