This app woman shows the digital way to civic solutions
In a world where the digital mode of technology has become the be all end all, authorities, as also the general public, have arrived at the conclusion that Internet is the panacea for all our problems. Hence, there is an effort from the executive to digitalise the nation to empower the community. Here is a social worker set to take the mission to its logical conclusion.
A woman entrepreneur by profession, Madhu Dagar is a passionate social worker who can be sighted roaming in the city with a camera in her hands. She clicks away photographs highlighting the civic anomalies she comes across anywhere in the city and posts them on the web portals or any other platforms of the concerned authorities for a solution.
Once she is equipped with the proof, she follows up until a solution to the problem is found to her satisfaction. So far, Madhu has got more than a hundred civic issues resolved pertaining to the area under the jurisdiction of civic bodies like DDA, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), electricity department, Delhi Jal Board (DJB), traffic department etc. She achieved this feat in just two years' time, ever since she embarked on this mission, thanks to mobile appliactions she uses diligently.
On being asked what prompted her to use digital media as a tool in her civic activism, she replied, “If you are educated and have access to digital platforms, there is no reason why you should not use them.”
Elaborating on the subject, she pointed out that there were apps of almost all the civic agencies to facilitate the resolution of community issues. She has found these apps effective and time-saving.
Madhu started using apps since July 2017 with the very first issue she took up under the DJB.
She recounted her experience saying, “There was a leakage in a DJB pipe line. I clicked a photograph of the leaking pipe and sent to the authority. Thereafter, I followed up the case. In two attempts, the problem was fixed.
Buoyed by the success, she said she decided to use apps as much as she can.
She further said: “The benefit of using an app is that the through it you can reach out to higher authorities directly who in turn would issue orders to lower staff to take action. The order will have a binding on them.”
It's with the help of the apps, Madhu could be able to ensure sanitation in the area roping in the SDMC to carry on activities like cleaning, lifting of garbage and sweeping of lane.
Sharing with CitySpidey some of her works that gave her immense satisfaction, she said, “MCD park at Sector 18, central verge road no. 205 garbage opposite ITL Public School Sector 9, garbage opposite Sector 14 near NBS school Sector 18 19 and 11 missing footpath apane etc. were some of the problems I raised through the apps and got them resolved instantaneously.”
Madhu has more than 10 such apps on her mobile phone which she uses to carry forward her civic activities.
She, however, says at times she faces difficulties while pursuing the cases related to civic matters. “Especially when a department doesn’t take ownership of the work, it becomes a challenge. Otherwise, the task is almost always accomplished.”
Madhu says that the apps are almost always effective. “One should make it a point to use them to extract prompt action from higher authorities who happen to be people-centric and want to serve the public.”
She also community aware about apps and ask them to use. In any community gathering or meeting she shares her experience. “ People are aware of such apps but they seen not bothered to get the issue registered and then do a follow up using the apps. I share my experience so that more and more people join the journey” she said.
There are some memorable moments in the journey of Madhu with the apps using them to get solutions to the civil issues. She mentions one, “Once a civic department’s officer asked “madam which party are you going to join” .. I said “party which party I said, “ I am tax payer citizen and that’s my right to have a clean surrounding.” His statement is still in my mind and I can not forget it as this has become a perception of the society and so people in authorities too.”
Based on her own experience Madhu says, “Even when the lower staff don’t show interest, I have seen higher authorities making them work done. They may delay, but eventually the work would be done, either way convince me or get convinced to do the work. Hence, don’t wait for Superman or Spider-Man to save the world, it is the duty of every citizen to keep their city clean. Use apps and keep the authorities posted.”