At the time when people are fighting the Indian political system to bring transparency between the people and the government, Delhi based app developer Grappus has developed an app, eSwaraj, that bridges the information gap between the citizens and their representatives, about the local issues.
The idea behind eSwaraj comes from when in the olden times the kings used to personally address to the well-being of civilians and wanted to be well-informed about their kingdom. The app aims to increase accountability and transparency in local governance by improving public participation, through highlighting the trends of public dissatisfaction.
The app gives an organised forum where the people could place their issues related to different civic amenities.
One can select their locality, upload an image of the problem area, write about the problem and submit it. Also, then know about the local MLA and view the overall constituency level analytics on the existing issues. And in turn, the representatives could view that data to see which area requires their attention. This data could also be used by the political candidates to decide resolution of which areas should be promised in their next campaign.
Launched in mid-September, the app is currently for Delhi and Bangalore only, but the team says that it will be soon made available for the whole nation.
With the nation’s youth already showing a great enthusiasm in the governance of the country, this initiative of clubbing it with online technology could be revolutionary.
The UI of the app is simple in design and usage, however we had minor problems with automatic location update. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices, with under 500 Android downloads in 2 weeks.
Iamwire Take: The simplified citizen complaint system is a good initiative as the people could easily come forward to reach out to their elected representative. However with only 13% of the population using the Internet and even less using smartphones, the question arises about the actual utility of the app. The smartphone users are usually the upper class citizens who usually don’t have as many complains as the less privileged ones. But once the people start taking responsibility for the community as a whole, including for those who do not have access to such forums, only then could such plans be successful.
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