H'APP'Y To Help
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Technology is advancing at a rapid rate. A number of startups are taking on new challenges for developing solutions with modern technology in civic space. Civic engagement is now no longer restricted to a certain cause or certain location. Different technologies are changing the way how we think about managing civic issues. Not only it helps in giving citizens a greater reach but also it changes the way of engagement with the government organizations.
Let’s take a look at three apps that help improve lives and promote civic engagement :
The Map App acts as a location analytics platform for a local government authority where they can know about all civic and traffic issues in their locality. MapmyIndia’s most comprehensive and accurate maps enable the relevant authorities to exactly locate and navigate to the problem area so that they can take action as soon as possible. “The idea of MapmyIndia’s Map App is to build a map for citizens and empower them to take action. A user can view and report a whole host of issues ranging from traffic to civic issues (like broken street lights, water wastage, potholes, electricity failure, etc.) to make their city smarter,” says Rakesh Verma, Managing Director, MapmyIndia.
Installs: 500,000 - 1,000,000, Rating: 3.9
Volunteering is quite similar to civic engagement done for a worthy cause. Developed by three techies, Saiyasodharan R, Pooja Srivastava and Sathish Kumar Balakrishnan, Grassroots app empowers volunteers by providing them information about ample social events from different NGOs based on their preference, such as location, cause (road safety, blood donation, environment, poverty, traffic awareness etc.) and time. “Most of the NGOs are running for a decade but don’t have a documentation report of what they do. It’s a big lag, in attracting volunteers as well as funds. This is solved by Grassroots,” says Saiyasodharan. The application is supported by six NGOs at the moment.
Installs: 1,000 - 5,000, Rating: 4.9
SWACHH BHARAT CLEAN INDIA APP
Launched in 2014, the Swachh Bharat Clean India App reports unhygienic and dirty areas in India, to the official twitter handle of PM’s office. The app aims to build maps of dirty areas around the country. These maps also help municipality to pin-point pain areas reported by people and take timely action. “Mapping is the first step in documenting a problem and understanding the scale at which we need to work. Reporting with GPS and timestamp helps in locating the issue accurately for municipal corporations,” says Mahek Shah, Founder, Swachh Bharat Clean India App.
Installs: 50,000 - 100,000, Rating: 4.2
(This article was first published in the July issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)