Blockathon For Change

Solutions for Societal Issues of Migrant Labour by Leveraging Block Chain Technology

US Consulate Chennai partnering with CPPR, Maker Village and Kerala Start up Mission for a unique Blockchain Hackathon on Migrant Labour issues.

OPENS ON : NOV 28 2017  -  DEADLINE : DEC 11 2017  



Migrant labourers are often a disadvantaged and vulnerable group because of social, economic and cultural issues associated with migration. In India, massive interstate migration of labourers warrants immediate attention both at the ground level and policy level. The proposed hackathon is designed to beneficially employ the Blockchain technology for offering comprehensive solutions to mitigate problems related to migrant labour.

A Hackathon for Society

  • Phase I – Idea

    The registered participants can select one or more of problem statements and propose solution (s) (max. 1000 words) based on the terms and conditions of the challenge. Deadline for idea submission is December 011, 2017 at 11:59 PM IST. Shortlisted teams for Phase 2 will be announced on December 13, 2017.

  • Phase 2 – “3-Day Hackathon”

    Only shortlisted teams from phase 1 can participate in Phase 2. Hacking contest is purely online and starts on December 14, 2017 and ends on December 17, 2017 at 4:00 PM IST.

  • Guidelines

    The Github repository link (should be made public) with full code for project and a README file which includes proposed architecture diagram and sufficient implementation details.

    The link to 3 – 4 minute video/screencast of the project (in clear audio and not exceeding 4 minutes). The video should showcase the project thoroughly (the screen, console, website, or mobile app) rather than the face of team members. The video should be uploaded on YouTube.

  • Guidelines

    Details regarding the tools/ APIs/ libraries/ smart contracts and other requirements used for the project.

    All entries should be submitted by December 17, 2017 on or before 4:00 pm IST. Late entries will not be entertained. Submission link will be disabled after 4:00 pm, December 17, 2017.

  • Phase 3- Site Demo

    During December 21-22,2017 participants of Phase 2 shall be required to come down to Kochi and deliver offline presentation and demo at Maker Village, Kochi.

    Winner will be announced at the venue on December 22, 2017.
  • Guidelines

    Platforms for Hackathon

    • 1. Truffle (for Ethereum projects)
    • 2. Web3.js (for Ethereum projects)
    • 3. Fabric SDK (for IBM Hyperledger projects)

    Based on the selected platform, candidates can use desired language for developing smart contracts for the project.


1Challenges related to Workplace and Labour relations  

Migrant laborers are often subjected to hard labor and very low payment. Longer working hours with no corresponding compensation is the usual practice as far as these laborers are concerned. Since these labor contracts are mostly verbal in nature, the actual terms of employment become highly exploitative in nature. Nature of the job, terms of the contract and tenure of the contract etc., are always highly skewed against the laborers. The cases of multiple layers of middlemen operating in between the laborer and the employer is very common. In many a cases even the agreed terms of employment itself get violated in actuality. In addition to the fact that the labors are forced to do low value, low end jobs for a paltry compensation, they are even denied basic requirements such as decent shelter and fairly priced and hygienic food. The unhygienic living conditions often lead to the outbreak of epidemic diseases. Lack of accessibility, lack of awareness and the language barrier often prevent the labors from utilizing the grievance redressal mechanisms, if any, with regard to the exploitative working conditions and the undignified living conditions

2Challenges related to Social entitlements and Statutory compliances  

As the migrant labors are always on the move, their existence is of floating in nature. The floating nature of existence prevents them from transferring the social entitlements as they move from one place to another. The migrant labors are left with a peculiar situation of not getting eligible for the social entitlement schemes at their place of origin or at their temporary place of residence for employment. Devoid of social welfare schemes such as subsidized health care, food grains, education for children etc., the migrant labor is becoming one of the most vulnerable sections of the society. In some cases, the migrant labor is even denied the most fundamental right in a democracy – the right to vote. Lack of proper records and the resultant ‘invisible’ nature of the migrant labor is making it easy for the unscrupulous employers’ to scuttle the labour welfare schemes such as Provident Fund (PF) and Employment State Insurance (ESI) schemes from getting implemented. Though it is mandatory to comply with the statutory provisions related to the labour welfare measures, majority of migrant laborers are kept out of the ambit of such provisions. There is often differential treatment between the migrant and local labour when it comes to the proper implementation of safety measures to protect the labour from occupational health hazards and accidents. Migrant labour is either unaware of the existence of various statutory acts in this regard or do not know how to make use of such acts.

3Challenges related to Social identity and Cultural assimilation  

Migrant labor is always kept outside the boundaries of a sustainable and equitable social life. Through exclusion they are culturally segregated from the main stream. They are unfairly faced with identity politics and parochialism. Social ostracism and economic discrimination is pushing a very small section of the migrant labor into criminal and antisocial activities. This in turn is reinforcing the archetypical migrant labor image

4Challenges related to Displacement and Familial issues  

Displacement causes burden and hardships not only to the individual labor but also to the members of the respective family. Most of the laborers move alone while keeping his family at the native place as the scope and feasibility of shifting the family is almost zero. Apart from the emotional strain, these separations place the family to singularly anchor their sustenance on the expected monthly remittance from unknown faraway places. On part of the laborer, making such transactions is a very difficult task. Without proper identity and address proofs, getting the Bank accounts opened itself could become a tedious process, leave alone the possibility of digital transactions especially considering the fact that most of the laborers are illiterate. Lack of credible data on the movement of migrant labor, exact number of laborers at a particular place, duration of their stay etc., makes it difficult to implement specific schemes related to displacement and attendant issues


Teams which are able to successfully demonstrate the prototype shall be declared winners. The first prize will be Rs 1,00,000 second prize Rs.50,000 and third prize Rs.25,000.

The winning team will be offered an opportunity to incubate at Kerala Startup Mission

Criteria for evaluation

1Relevance of Blockchain technology for solving the problem.

2Quality and novelty of the suggested technical solution.

3Efficiency of the smart contract for embedding your idea into the project.

4Social impact of the suggested solution

Dates to Remember


Should I solve one problem statement or all three?

It’s entirely your choice. You could pick and choose any problem statement to solve. However, we encourage participants to come up with a solution for more than one or all the problem statements.

When can I start building my blockchain-based solution?

You can start building your solution as soon as you complete your online registration.

Will I own the rights to my solution if I win the prize?

Yes, absolutely. We will not have any rights over your solution or any minimum viable product that may emerge out of this Hackathon.

Can I submit my idea after 11th December?

No, we will not be accepting any solutions after 11th of December 2017.

Do I need to come to Kochi for the Hackathon?

No, you need not come to Kochi for the Hackathon. The Hackathon is purely online and you can participate from anywhere. However, partcipants have to come to Kochi on 21-22 December for demo.

What do I have to bring to Kochi?

We provide Wi-Fi, food, mentoring sessions and fun! Everything else, you would have to bring.

Will my accommodation be covered?

No, we do not provide any accommodation services.

Who can apply?

Participants should be from Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or Puducherry.

What should be the team size?

1-4 members are allowed


US Consulate General, Chennai

The Consul General directs the activities of the United States Consulate General in Chennai. The U.S. Consulate in Chennai is one of the top visa adjudication posts in the world, and the number one in processing employment based visas. The Consulate also provides an array of services to Americans residing or traveling to Chennai.

Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR)

Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) is a think tank dedicated to extensive and in-depth research on current economic, social, and political issues. The mission of CPPR is to spread knowledge and awareness among fellow human beings through the promotion of research, training, and dialogue among key stakeholders in society. CPPR produces working papers in various fields. Innovative policy solutions and ideas that are in sync with global technological revolutions and entrepreneurship are the key components of its policy research.

Maker Village

Maker Village, is a joint initiative between Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY), Government of India and Government of Kerala with Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Kerala (IIITM K) as the nodal agency for the project. As part of this initiative, an incubation space of around 30,000 Sq Ft, which is fully furnished and equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software facilities, has been set up at KINFRA Hi Tech Park at Kochi, Kerala. Maker Village is supported and complemented by a Fab Lab facility catering to the Mechanical Fabrication requirements of the Electronic Incubators. Maker Village has become the top destination for all IOT and Consumer Electronics Startup activities in the state and is looking forward to become the best such facility in the country.

Kerala Start up Mission

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is the implementing agency of Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in Kerala. KSUM has been promoting entrepreneurship development programmes right from schools (Raspberry Pi Programmes), colleges (Boot Camps), Startups ( Incubation/ Accelerator Progarmme, Startup Box Campaign, Leadership Academy, International Exchange Programme etc). KSUM is also the implementing body for the Kerala Technology Startup Policy that supports startup ecosystem by means of 9 components such as Infrastructure, Incubators and Accelerators, Human Capital Development, Funding, State Support, Governance, Public Private Partnership, Scaling Existing and Establishing New Incubators and Startup-Bootup-Scale up model for moving fast from ideas to IPO.