By Baishali Mukherjee for Youth Ki Awaaz:
Developing eight mobile apps for Android phones and a search engine at the age of 15 is no mean feat, especially when the wiz kid is from Chalsa, a nondescript locale in North Bengal. Meet Abhik Saha, a class X student of Don Bosco English Medium School Oodlabari, in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. Elder son of Shefali Saha, a school teacher at Sarba Sikkha Misson (S.S.M) Batabari and Alok Saha, a plywood trader, Abhik is a tech wizard whose interest in computer programming dates back from when he was just a 10-year-old kid. He has come a long way since then and today runs his own software, web and mobile app developing company – Arnabhik Corp, which includes Arnabhik Lab creating software for PCs, Arnabhik Apps Platform creating Mobile Apps and Games and Arnabhik Web which handles web design.
“It was the news about the Chennai brothers, Sanjay Kumaran (10 years) and Shravan Kumaran’s (12 years), success with mobile apps in 2012 that triggered my interest in computer programming and I started thinking of making apps. YouTube, online training classes and books on programming helped me acquire the required knowledge. Once trained, I was confused between starting a software business and making mobile apps but decided on the latter as nowadays the use of mobile phones is wider and more elaborate than that of computers,” informs Saha.
It was after thorough self-training, hours of research and serious hunting for new ideas that Saha’s first 2D Game App ‘Birdingo’ was created on November 2, 2015. This was followed by five more apps in quick succession – two education apps ( Math++ and Abcd planet), a learning app (i-Learn, which gives free video tutorials on computer programming or developing languages ), a 3D gaming app ( 3D Task 24); and Arnabhik Website Builder, an app that helps people easily get a free hosting website. Currently, with a thousand downloads on the Google Play store, it pops up at no. 14 when you look for website builders.
Sitting in his room on the second floor of their two-storied house in Chalsa, which immediately aligns you with the orientation of the occupier with its gadgets and gizmos, books and DVDs, Abhik informs, “Technology is the greatest miracle of all times.” Pointing to the TWAIN computers, he adds, “The whole world is right there in them, and they alone hold the key to all my skills at wizardry.”
2016 continues to be a year of achievements for Saha. April 5, 2016, saw the launch of GreenCulture (an Agriculture App) which notifies farmers of latest news about crops, lands, better farming techniques, etc. and will provide scope for real-time chat with the experts. Reming God, a Reminder app, helps one remember future works to be done, and went live on April 30, 2016. Soon to be launched is Splashme, a 3D game app where as he explains, “a new idea of modern humour brought into the game where one can fight with food, candies, kitchen equipment in the kitchen and win points”.
Broadening his field of expertise, Saha recently launched a search engine – Origgon.“The idea of launching a search engine came in my mind after I successfully created a programming language named Lino, available at www.linolang.org. After a discussion with my friend, Sandipan Sarkar on July 23, we decided the name Origgon. It took me four months to build it. Sandipan funded the project and is also the co-founder & CFO of my company,” he tells us.
“My objective was to build an index and database of websites one by one. I wanted to make a search engine that extracts results from other search engines and algorithmically sorts the best, deletes the spam and malicious sites. Our main feature is, we do not track you or your IP, and you are completely anonymous while using our servers search.” adds the talented 15-year-old
Saha bought a local server on GoDaddy on October 20 and launched the search engine on October 28. The engine, he claims, already has global visitors from Israel, USA, and Canada, and is growing every day. He is also earning from ads showcased on the site and has applied for a government registration for ‘Origgon’.
Saha’s daily routine includes two hours of rigorous research on computer programming before he retires for the day. Books on technology are his first love, and much of his mastery of programming languages like C++, Python, Java, HTML, Visual Basic, Visual C# is from the books he reads. He is also a football aficionado and follows both national and international soccer. However, new gadgets and gizmos that enter the market are what this teen wonder is most passionate about.
His success has made him popular in his hometown, and his school is proud to have such a talented boy enrolled with them. The teachers are very supportive and help Saha with his queries whenever there is one. He has also been entrusted with the responsibility of building the school website. The young innovator plans to take up Computer Science as his branch of study and sees himself in one of the IITs, after cracking the JEE (Joint Entrance Examinations), two years hence. Building an IT company in India is his dream for the future while making many more apps to help people grow with technology, will continue to be his passion, he says.
One can tell that Saha is also smart at business as he informs us of his strategy to grow: “I am keen to develop my business and want to appoint skilled resources to take care of my company.”
Self-development is not the only focus of this extraordinary kid who is keen to work towards an inclusive and wholesome development of his home town. Lamenting the fact that Chalsa is not very technologically up-to-date, Saha confidently declares, “I want to contribute towards making the youth of Chalsa technology savvy, which will widen the small and limited world of this nondescript place at the foothills of the Himalayas.”