By Sanjana Sanghi:
The Meri Awaaz mobile application is the first of its kind that connects citizens with their netas and Government officials. It can potentially revolutionize how politics works in India, as it permits real time public engagement and allows catching up with the work being done in our area; possibly making it just as easy as catching up with the posts on our timeline. Founded by Aditya Nayak, the force behind Meri Awaaz is Mutini Labs, a 2-year-old start-up that aims to put India on the global technology entrepreneurship map. This journey began with the 2014 elections in Delhi, and aims to digitize politics the world over.
What the app really does?
At the base of it, Meri Awaaz gives us a chance to follow our candidates and their activities, from our respective constituencies. No candidate remains a mystery as all their past work and interaction history is easily available in the form of a report card. This was a fundamental step in transforming the ambitious idea of helping voters make an informed choice, into a realistic possibility. If another member in a particular constituency has reported a civic issue, regarding anything like road, electricity, water, public or transport (using the snapshot feature the app provides), every other user can not only view it, but also reap benefits as these reports automatically get routed to the right departments. The new concept of “Digital Rajneeti” provided by the app results in a beneficial situation for all the parties involved. It helps government departments understand crucial issues in the area, and allows the locals to reach out in case of any problems.
Politics of polarization on the basis of caste and community ideology has become a pertinent issue in India today. For our state to really progress, we require issue and development based politics. The creators of Meri Awaaz believe that if netas get a medium to connect with their electorate and showcase their work to voters who already have complete knowledge about their criminal records, and all other details – politics in India will be able to reinvent itself. This process continues after the election of candidates, as MLAs get a chance to remain in touch with their people, receiving constant feedback and delivering on their promises.
In conversation with the founder:
We at Youth Ki Awaaz got in touch with Aditya Nayak to unravel the journey so far and to talk about the future plans.
We are targeting the young smart voters who swung the vote during the last election. We are looking to solve the problem of information asymmetry and disconnect with the elected power after the elections are over,” says Aditya on being asked about the audience they want to cater to. The recent Delhi elections have exemplified this vision, as the young voters came out in large numbers and drastically influenced the election results.
Regarding their recent progress with the app, he says – “We have closed 5 constituencies (MLAs) in Delhi and all are in different stages of deployment. We are engagement to rise in these constituencies about a few weeks from now. We are also close to closing 5 more constituencies.” This kind of dedicated and focused vision can alter the face of politics in India. Not only does it bridge the gap between politicians and voters, it also directly increases transparency along with making politicians answerable to the people.
“Our future plans are to expand pan India before the next general elections. We are soon going to start a fund raiser once we have the system deployed in Delhi”, he concludes.
It’s game changing potential
Indian politics has a rich yet tumultuous history, with constant variations. But one fact has remained the same. It’s openness to change according to prevailing circumstances, and it is this fact that the Meri Awaaz app taps on. As the world has gone digital now, and the youth lead this technological revolution, politics can no more be left out of this sphere. The app’s smooth interface and navigational style provides a means to this end, and prevents the pile up of rotting, unaddressed files in government offices.
Want to know more about the app? Read here.