Girl creates app so bullied kids can report in private

Portrait of Aesha Bhatt at her computer where she taught herself coding in her Johns Creek home. While we've heard a lot of news about kids who lost a year of learning by not being in school, 11-year-old Aesha Bhatt of Johns Creek proves just the opposite, because she's been incredibly creative and productive throughout the pandemic, exploring coding and app development. When the pandemic started, her father Mehul Bhatt wanted his daughter to stay creative and engaged in learning, and while he knew she liked tech, he wasn't sure if coding was right at her age. She took to it immediately. The sixth grader created an anti-bullying app and is helping her mother Hita Bhatt develop a YouTube cooking channel. Aesha designed the channel's website and logo and edits its pages.
PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Caption
Portrait of Aesha Bhatt at her computer where she taught herself coding in her Johns Creek home. While we've heard a lot of news about kids who lost a year of learning by not being in school, 11-year-old Aesha Bhatt of Johns Creek proves just the opposite, because she's been incredibly creative and productive throughout the pandemic, exploring coding and app development. When the pandemic started, her father Mehul Bhatt wanted his daughter to stay creative and engaged in learning, and while he knew she liked tech, he wasn't sure if coding was right at her age. She took to it immediately. The sixth grader created an anti-bullying app and is helping her mother Hita Bhatt develop a YouTube cooking channel. Aesha designed the channel's website and logo and edits its pages. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Considering all the pandemic disruptions, the past school year appeared to be an academic loss for most students. Not so for an elementary school kid in Johns Creek.

Aesha Bhatt spent her downtime during fifth grade doing something about student bullying. First she learned how to write computer code, then used her newly acquired skills to create an app so kids being harassed could report the incident to a counselor online.

Her Anti-Abusing App can be found on the Google Play app store for Android users, and she is working on getting it on the App Store to be available for iPhone users.

Aesha said she’s seen girls and boys being bullied at school, and thought having a way to report it digitally would be less threatening to them. It would also relieve the stress of being harassed and help them to talk about the incident.

“I think some kids would be afraid to tell their parents or any other adult, so maybe it would help to be online, and they can report it to special counselors on the app,” said Aesha, who is now a sixth-grader in middle school.

Here’s how it works: If someone gets bullied, they use the app to report the problem to a counselor through a ‘report’ button. First, it asks for inputs of name, location and what happened. Then, by clicking submit, the information is sent privately to a school counselor of choice.

Aesha created the app through her online coding classes in BYJU’s FutureSchool. She started the virtual classes in 2020 as a way to stay engaged in learning during the pandemic. Then, in January, she started developing the app as part of BYJU’s Silicon Valley Challenge competition. The challenge was to identify a problem and use technology to find a solution.

BYJU’S FutureSchool offers digital classes on coding and math, and has recently expanded with offerings of other subjects. About 1.4 million U.S. students are enrolled.

To create the app, Aesha received help with coding from BYJU mentors, she discussed plans with her parents and got advice from school counselors.

For it to work, counselors also have to access the app. Student users will have a list of counselors to work with, and they can schedule a meeting, a chat, or a phone call in private.

Other features include information about bullying, how to recognize it and what to do when it happens. Aesha’s Anti-Abusing App was a finalist in the BYJU competition, and she is already looking to improve her creation by adding new features.

Caption
Mehul Bhatt (from left), his wife Hita and daughter Aesha work together on a phone in their home. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Mehul Bhatt (from left), his wife Hita and daughter Aesha work together on a phone in their home. 
PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Caption
Mehul Bhatt (from left), his wife Hita and daughter Aesha work together on a phone in their home. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

“My parents were really proud that I used my time wisely because some kids lost a year in the pandemic,” Aesha said.

Her father, Mehul Bhatt, said when the pandemic came, he saw that it was difficult for students to move along and wanted his daughter to stay creative and engaged in learning. He knew she liked technology but wasn’t sure if coding would be the right fit at her age. So they took a free demo class together, and she took off from there.

“I was very happy that my daughter is doing something that she’s interested in,” says Bhatt, “my wife and I are very proud of her. “We’re really glad and blessed.

The Johns Creek father, who works in information technology, said his daughter loves coding and is quickly picking up Python programming language. “Right now, I would say she’s one step ahead of me. I could learn more things from her,” he said.

In addition to the Anti-Abusing App, Aesha is working on another one with languages. Her app would give tourists some essential words and phrases to know when visiting a country with a foreign language.

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Aesha Bhatt (right) cooks with her mother, Hita, in their Johns Creek home. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Aesha Bhatt (right) cooks with her mother, Hita, in their Johns Creek home. 
PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Caption
Aesha Bhatt (right) cooks with her mother, Hita, in their Johns Creek home. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

She is also helping her mother, Hita Bhatt, develop a YouTube cooking channel. Aesha designed the channel’s website and logo and edited its pages. She came up with the project, and her mother, a good cook, agreed to be involved.

“People can explore the website, the cooking channel, videos, and recipes,” Aesha said. “I’m still trying to get more ideas and work on it and make it look better.”

Aesha said she doesn’t think about having a career yet; she is just starting middle school.

“But I’m really interested in technology,” she said. Her favorite hobbies are doing art, playing basketball and creating apps.

Caption
Hita Bhatt (clockwise from left) with her daughter Aesha (age 11), husband Mehul and daughter Hrisha (3) at their Johns Creek home. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Hita Bhatt (clockwise from left) with her daughter Aesha (age 11), husband Mehul and daughter Hrisha (3) at their Johns Creek home. 
PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.
Caption
Hita Bhatt (clockwise from left) with her daughter Aesha (age 11), husband Mehul and daughter Hrisha (3) at their Johns Creek home. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner


ANTI-ABUSING APP

From the app: Are you being abused or bullied and need help? Well, the Anti-abusing App can help you with that. Within this app, you can get advice on what to do in these situations. You can also report all of your incidents in this app, and a real counselor can help you with that.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gmail.aesha.antiabusingapp