We live in a world of information. This is a good thing as it gives us power to be agents of change. But in a world of information there can sometimes be too much information. This is a challenge recognized by Azmayeen, of Bangladesh. He has been working towards solutions to this problem since he was in 5th grade.
Azmayeen did not set out to change his community, he simply wanted to develop the skills he loved, computer programming, robotics, artificial intelligence and computer analytics. He began developing these skills when he was in the 3rd grade. It was in 5th grade when an artist came to his school for Environment Day who needed assistance in translating sign language to communicate with the students that Azmayeen saw a practical use for his skills. He realized technology could allow overcome the communication barriers faced by many in society. He realized that through technological innovation he could bring about social change.
This was when Azmayeen began to work on a device he calls Sign Language Interpreter which detects and translates the sign language used by speech and hearing impaired individuals. Through this device he hopes to eliminate barriers to communication.
This was only the beginning of Azmayeen’s journey as a Changemaker. He began to see problems all around him that could be solved through technology. He is currently using artificial intelligence to help customers find the right information to complete day to day tasks. An example being, if someone wanted to buy a smartphone they could input their budget and preferences` the website will help find a suitable products. This saves time and money, precious resources in the modern world. He hopes to launch this product soon in Bangladesh.
Creating social change has not been easy for Azmayeen he has had to problem solve and develop a supportive team. One of the biggest problems he has faced has been the expensive price of the correct sensors and equipment that are needed to create solutions. Parents are also suspicious of activities that distract their children from their studies. Azmayeen has overcome this by developing a digital services business that allows him to get funds by providing graphic design, web design and web development services to small businesses and startups. This allows him to acquire the equipment he needs for social change.
His work has garnered both national and international attention, but this is not why Azmayeen does it. He works on his projects because of empathy and his desire to use technology to benefit everyone. Azmayeen recognizes that his products are not fully developed so he continues to look for ways to improve them and new opportunities to implement change. He wants 80% of people in Bangladesh to use the Sign Language Interpreter and wants to get office space for his company, Optimum Technology, so that it can continue to grow.
Ashoka’s Youth Ventures workshops and support have given Azmayeen the skills and network to continue to grow his organization. Azmayeen wants to continue giving people access to new resources and believes it to be his responsibility to share the resources he has.
If you or someone you know is, like Azmayeen, making a big or small change in their community, and is between the ages of 12 and 20, then get them to apply for Ashoka’s Youth Venture program. Apply here.
Read in Bangla here.
Written - Maesha Rashedin
Edited - Jake Smaje