In remote India, a village that runs on WhatsApp
Bengaluru, July 19: Whatsapp is everywhere and a Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) Tirupathi T Uppara from one of the remote Village Panchayats (VP) has made the most of social media by creating a WhatsApp group forum for his village. With this, he aims to bridge the gap between officials and locals so that both can address issues pertaining to the village on a common platform.
Uppara, who is the PDO of Golithottu Village Panchayat of Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka created a WhatsApp group in which officers of the VP and locals are the members. "Amid increasing technology, it is the need of the hour to introduce technological advantages to the villagers. Failing to do so, the village would be technologically isolated," says Uppara.
The group that was kicked off two months back now boasts of 40-50 villagers and Uppara hopes that the group would attract more members. Speaking to OneIndia he said that there are around 1800 residents in Golithottu VP. "There are five wards in this VP. The vision is to bring everyone on one common ground, hold interactions and discuss problems via WhatsApp. We will create five groups for all five wards," he said.
For the last 15 days, members are holding interactive discussions on diverse issues concerning the Panchayat. "Members have begun posting problems from their locality, besides advising the VP on many issues." The group has officials as members and their job is to keep a tab on the interaction and revert to any query raised by the public.
Tirupathi has selected 15 active members in the group and has promoted them as admins of the same. These admins are asked to add more number of people to popularise the new method of interaction between government officials and locals.
Drinking water problem, damage in the water supply line and road related problems are some of issues that have been raised in the group. Tirupathi informed that as many as 1000 villagers in his jurisdriction own a smartphone and said that gradually it would cover the entire population of the region.
Tirupathi who hails from Raichur district of Karnataka is serving as PDO in Golithottu from 2010. He hopes his new venture would garner good cooperation from the villagers. Tirupathi thinks keeping up with the technological development is a boon to village in terms of overall growth.
This Whatsapp group will also educate and generate awareness on slew of issues such as health, sanitation, government project and others. Public can also pose questions on various bureaucratic procedures which they come across on a daily basis.