In a groundbreaking initiative, 24-year-old Akshay Ridlan has developed QR code lockets to aid in locating missing individuals, particularly those with dementia and autism. This innovative solution brings hope to countless families who have experienced the anguish of searching for their loved ones.
Every month, a staggering 64,851 people go missing in India, as reported by the World Population Review in 2023. Moved by these distressing statistics, Akshay Ridlan, a UPSC aspirant, decided to take action. His motivation stemmed from reading newspaper reports about missing children and the heart-wrenching story of Tarun Gupta, an autistic teenager who went missing in 2019.
Through his project named "Chetna," launched in September 2023, Akshay introduced unique QR code tags that can be worn as pendants. These tags contain vital information such as emergency contacts, medical conditions, and home addresses. When scanned with a phone, the QR code provides access to this crucial data, enabling a swift identification process.
The initiative aims to assist vulnerable patients and individuals with mental health issues who are prone to disorientation or wandering. Akshay's empathetic approach and extensive research, which involved speaking to caregivers, doctors, and parents of children with disabilities, have contributed to the development of a fool-proof system.
To ensure widespread adoption, Akshay is working on technology that sends notifications to caregivers when someone scans the QR code, even if the missing person is far away. However, awareness and cooperation from authorities, such as the railway police, are necessary for the success of this solution.
With these QR code lockets, Akshay Ridlan has ignited a ray of hope for families searching for their missing loved ones. The Chetna project stands as a testament to the power of innovation and compassion in addressing critical societal challenges.