News : New App to Enable Janata-neta Dialogue
Pune, India, July 23, 2015 -- Imagine if you could do more than just know paltry facts about your local neta — maybe even call him or her straight from your cellphone (where many are increasingly spending most of their time)?
That's exactly what VoterFirst aims to do — allow the aam admi to connect with elected representatives and opposition members. The app, being launched by cloud telephony firm Big V Telecom, is a voter engagement app, available both on Android and iOS devices. Voters in rural constituencies, who often may not own smartphones, can access ut over a cloud contact centre by calling a helpline to register issues.
Founded in 2008 and incubated by Tata Elxsi, the company had also helped establish a contact centre for anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare in 2012. Big V Telecom managing director Keshor Daga confirmed, "VoterFirst is ready for launch and will be available within a week."
Supriya Sule, Member of Parliament (MP), from the Baramati constituency, told Mirror, "It is a great concept as all kinds of communication are welcome." But, will politicians welcome such apaid app? Sule replied, "I can speak only for myself. It is a good initiative."
"A politician can stay in touch with issues in his/ her constituency even when out on tour," Daga added. The public can raise queries, post complaints and engage with netas directly through the app. "In fact, when a complaint is raised, if it remains unresolved for over eight days, the leader will be alerted about the pending complaint," stated Daga. VoterFirst, according to him, is a natural extension of Jansamwad, a voter connect initiative launched by the company during the 2009 Maharashtra Assembly election. Since then, 180 MPs and MLAs across India have used Jansamwad, the company claims.
Asked how VoterFirst differs from existing sites like knowyourneta.info, he said, "The app allows for two-way communication between voters and representatives. Everything else is unidimensional."
Social activist Maruti Bhapkar opined, "This will encourage participative democracy. It could play an important role in empowering voters." However, he sounded a word of caution, saying since people's trust would be paramount in the success of the app, transparency and impartiality should be ensured.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Big V Telecom:
BigV Telecom is an Indian cloud-telephony solutions provider, based in Pune, with business-to-business and business-to-consumer applications. It was founded by Keshor Daga who currently leads the firm as the director.
Published: Friday, July 24, 2015