Now, an app provides volunteers with a platform to help stray dogs systematically | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Now, an app provides volunteers with a platform to help stray dogs systematically

Raja Narasimhan and wife Priti in association with Abzooba Infotech have introducted Indies, a mobile app which will help link story dogs and volunteers for smooth functioning

pune Updated: Mar 18, 2018 15:04 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
The whole Indies App system is designed in such a way that a life cycle of stray dog or Indie is managed through this App – right from birth to death – birth and locality details, regular vaccination and anti-rabies vaccination schedule, sterilisation, de-worming, medication history if required, GPS based rescue, missing and found, adoption and foster.
The whole Indies App system is designed in such a way that a life cycle of stray dog or Indie is managed through this App – right from birth to death – birth and locality details, regular vaccination and anti-rabies vaccination schedule, sterilisation, de-worming, medication history if required, GPS based rescue, missing and found, adoption and foster. (HT)

Raja Narasimhan noticed that where are several WhatsApp groups where stray dog problems and solutions were being discussed. He observed that in each of these groups, there were very few volunteers who worked on the ground and too many people who were ‘advice givers’. “The same kind of information will be asked repeatedly. As I was made a member of one of the groups in our area, I kept wondering why do people always discuss problems and not solutions. For me and my wife, this kept the ball rolling,” he said.

They created a small group from within their locality and started using ground level information. They started meeting more number of people to get information on a wider spectrum. “We did lot of brain storming about this in order to come up with a solution where we can bring genuine good doers together under one platform. Then we created a proper team to put up a technical requirement and functional requirement document. We initially thought we can do it for our area but slowly graduated to our city and now we see a whole system standing for the country. As my wife and I already run Sare Jahan Se Acha, a registered not-for-profit company, it was easier for us to approach corporates and present the case,” he added.

This gave birth to Indies, a technology platform which aims to enable volunteers in India who are directly working on the field to perform their voluntary tasks more effectively and efficiently. The whole system is designed in such a way that a life cycle of stray dog or Indie is managed through this App – right from birth to death – birth and locality details, regular vaccination and anti-rabies vaccination schedule, sterilisation, de-worming, medication history if required, GPS based rescue, missing and found, adoption and foster. The App is built with notifications so that alerts are sent when it is required. “To make sure the buddies and buddy heads are well connected, we have introduced Forum (replacement for Whatsapp groups) within the system so that serious and business like discussions take place.The whole system works on a linkage between Indies (stray dogs), buddies (volunteers) and buddy heads (ward heads). Buddy heads are none but experienced volunteers who have been performing welfare tasks for a few years. For any municipality under a city there are wards, localities and sub-localities. In order to motivate the buddies and buddy heads, we have introduced gamification in the app ie., scoring based on tasks performed by them.”

As of now, they have created a core team which will be responsible for its strategic execution. They are in the process of creating a sub committee for day to day functioning. He added that it was difficult to convince donors or sponsors. “Many corporates have their own objectives to meet. It was challenging. I was ridiculed and laughed at. We got Abzooba Infotech, an analytics company, who agreed to sponsor the entire back-end development. After a bit of struggle, we met Tata Trusts and got a go ahead to develop the front end.”

The mobile app was launched on Saturday by Rajendra Jagtap, CEO, Pune Smart City.

Three main objectives:

1. Reduce human and animal conflict through various educative and awareness drives

2. Speed up sterilisation drives to scientifically and systematically control the Indies population

3. Implement various vaccination programmes including anti-rabies through existing channels

Achieving 5 Cs

Collar: Indies will be collared with inbuilt NFC chip to store details of an Indie

Census: Get proper census area-wise

Control: Sterilise and vaccinate them through programmes

Co - exist: Spread awareness about the importance of human and animal co-existence

Collaborate: Connect with the good doers including the medical fraternity and other related service providers

How should one go about the app?

Anybody can download the app. Raja added, “The way we have designed the system is to first identify a senior volunteer in a particular ward in a city who is called a buddy head in our system.” Buddy heads are responsible people who have been doing stray dog welfare work for few years now. For a particular ward once a buddy head starts using it, he/she can invite his juniors called buddy in the system to join him/her.