This Janmashtami, govinda groups from Mumbai will get up-to-date information about the location of dahi handis, details of insurance schemes for their members and even fitness tips at the click of a mouse. What is being termed as an online ‘dahi handi directory’, the portal www.dahikala.com is helping govindas plan out an otherwise chaotic day.
The website, launched last year by four IT professionals, helps govinda groups chalk out their route maps to dahi handis with the use of global positioning system (GPS) technology.
“This year, we have included new features like an insurance zone, health zone, fitness zone and the Spain zone,” said Shreyas Achrekar, business development manager of the website.
“Our aim is to ensure that govindas have all the latest information and know about all schemes and trends,” added Achrekar.
With more than 800 govinda groups already registered on the website, response to the initiative has been overwhelming. “We have been getting almost 4,500 hits daily on the website,” said Achrekar.
Even the coaches of govinda groups have been keeping a close tab on the website.
“It is very useful in charting out our route during the day of the festival,” said Shashikala Kamble from the Worli-based Sankalp Pratishtan Dahi Handi group.
“We go to at least 14 dahi handis every year and the map along with details provided on the website make the experience less cumbersome,” he added.
The most popular section on the website, however, is the recently launched insurance zone. “It gives details of the free insurance packages being provided to govindas by political parties. We regularly call all govinda groups registered with us and give out the policy details to them,” said Achrekar.
For the govinda groups, who are yet to register, the process is simple and free. “We are expecting at least 1,000 registrations by the end of this season. The groups can upload their photographs, videos and also send invitations to other groups to check out their efforts,” said Sachin Shahane, director of the website.
“With social plug-in facilities, the groups can directly be found even on networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter,” he added.
The website’s administrators plan to start more new services in the future after feedback from their users – the govinda groups.
“After the festival ends, we will carry out a personalised survey with all govinda groups in the city. Based on their recommendations, we will incorporate changes,” said Rajesh Amberkar, administration head of the website.