Creator of App That Helped Chennai Flood Victims Commits Suicide

The 21-year-old techie’s app helped over 20,000 people to send out SOS messages during the Chennai floods. 

Kaushal Bag, a 21-year-old techie who helped more than 20,000 people during the Chennai floods through his app ‘Helping Hands’, allegedly committed suicide at his residence in Nashik recently.

Speaking to The News Minute, an inspector from Mumbai Naka police station in Nashik said, “He hanged himself around 3.20 pm on March 15. His family took him to a hospital, and doctors declared him brought dead at 4.20 pm.”

He added that a video he recorded before committing suicide was found on his mobile phone. The inspector said:

He asked for forgiveness from his parents and friends for committing suicide (in the video), but he did not say why he was taking the step. We are investigating the case.

The family has not filed a case, and said that Kaushal was not depressed, and that they did not know the reason for his decision, police said.

Bag had developed an offline application called Helping Hands in July 2015, which can track GPS locations using text messages.

Thousands of people stuck in the Chennai floods had used the app to send out SOS messages through their mobile phones, which helped volunteers locate and rescue them.

The app sends text messages even if the internet connection is lost, or the network is unavailable. In such cases, the application uses radio waves to send messages.

Also Read: Why Rich, Progressive Sikkim Has India’s Highest Suicide Rate

After people in Chennai began sending SOS signals using the app, Helping Hands took the help of local NGOs to rescue the stranded people. After successfully helping people during the floods, the team wanted to assist the police department too.

By December 2015, thousands of people had downloaded the app.

The Times of India reported that the app was also used during the Nashik and Ujjain Kumbh Melas to locate missing persons, and also during the Laksha Deepotsava, a huge religious gathering held in November 2016 at Dharmasthala in Karnataka.