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Check Out Apps That’ll Help You Prepare For Delhi’s Odd-Even Experiment

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By Anupam Chakravarty:

Note: This article has been republished from Down To Earth.

Nishchay Kashyap, 23, has stopped asking his parents for his fuel expenses. Pursuing a postgraduate degree from Delhi University’s law faculty, Kashyap drives every weekend to his hometown in Yamunanagar, Haryana, along with a few co- passengers, who share the cost of the journey. All Kashyap does before his trip is to log on to an app and announce the journey a day or two in advance.

“I have been using the BlaBlaCar app for the past six months. I don’t have to travel alone anymore, or pay for the fuel,” he says. Like Kashyap, several car owners across the world are offering rides to complete strangers with the help of such apps. Drivers and riders set up profiles by downloading these apps on their mobile devices and then share or search for rides by destination.

BlaBlaCar is one of the many foreign start-ups that have started operations in India. The French company runs operations across Europe, Russia and Mexico, and has about 20 million user accounts. Its annual turnover in 2014 was US $100 million.

Car-sharing for inter- and intra-city travel has grown rapidly in recent times. (Clockwise from above) Nishchay Kashyap, a BlaBlaCar app user in Delhi, does not have to pay for his fuel when he drives to his hometown in Haryana; Raxit Seth, CEO of Mumbai-based SmartMumbaikar, says because of the unique safety measures, 60 per cent of their users are women; Raghu Ramanujam, CEO of PoolCircle, says carpooling is apt for congested Indian cities.

In India, BlaBlaCar started business in 2013. Currently, it claims presence in 700 cities and provides about four million rides a month, with 17 million shared kilometres (km) in the past six months. A trip between Mumbai and Pune costs Rs 400. The price of a Delhi-Chandigarh journey comes to around Rs 500. In other countries, BlaBlaCar takes 10 percent for each transaction, but in India it is yet to start charging a user fee.

The company till now has only focused on inter-city travel, and the operation model has been phenomenally successful. According to Raghav Gupta, head of BlaBlaCar’s India operations, commuters are more interested in sharing long-distance rides because for short distance travel several services are available.

City-Based Services

There are several domestic start-ups as well, helping people share intra-city commute. A Bengaluru-based company PoolCircle, for instance, has focused only on intra-city commute to expand its operations. Founded in 2013, PoolCircle has been offering about 30,000 rides a day in the city. It has tied up with leading corporates such as GE that have their offices in the city.

Unlike BlaBlaCar, PoolCircle has introduced a flat rate of Rs 5 per kilometre. “The rate was decided on the basis of consultations with our users. They are free to charge below this but we discourage users from charging anything extra,” says Raghu Ramanujam, CEO of PoolCircle.

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  1. Hariprakash

    Pls also look at RideAlly app as it is already connecting odd-even car owners. One can provide his travel info at link and get connected with other users..

  2. hemen

    POLLUTION SOLUTION , aka ” PollSolv ”

    It is said : Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    Let us rephrase : Essentiality is the Mother of Intervention
    This is in response to Odd / Even driving rule being experimented in Delhi from Jan 1 2016
    Equally applicable to any other city , threatened by vehicular emission pollution
    This solution will be named : PollSolve
    It will be in two parts , as follows :


    All vehicles (existing and future registrations) to be fitted with a GPS locator ( compulsory )
    Each of this locator will carry Vehicle Number ( hard-coded )
    A software in Delhi Transport Department , will then , be able to track in real time , movement of each vehicle ( 24*7 ) , on several computer screens
    If a Odd numbered vehicle is travelling on Even date , it will show up as a RED colored dot on the screen and through linkage with RTO records ,an automatic alert will be issued to the mobile phone of the nearest Traffic Police to catch / stop that vehicle and take that vehicle, off the road !
    The owner / driver can take it back after one week of grounding !
    This technology is available , commercially and off – the – shelf
    Should not take more than 6 months to implement


    Each citizen of Delhi will have to ( compulsorily ) download and install on his smart phone , an App called : CarPool
    He / she will enter following data in the App :
    * Name / Gender / Aadhar Card No
    * Email Id / Mobile Number / Residence Address / Work-place Address
    * From / To ( in the morning ) / Time of travel
    * From / To ( in the evening ) / Time of travel
    * If owning a vehicle , then :
    # Vehicle type : 2 – 3 – 4 wheeler
    # Fuel type : Petrol / Diesel / Electric
    # Vehicle Capacity : 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 persons ( including driver )
    # Vehicle Number :
    # Vehicle Registration Date ( to compute ” Age ” of vehicle )
    # Serial Number of GPS locator fitted on vehicle ( must be unique / Mfrr to take care )
    # CarPool Number (Unique Serial No allotted by App) : To be entered after joining a Pool

    CarPool App will not accept the data ,nor get activated ,until Mobile Owner also keeps ” ON ”
    the GPS location feature built into the phone

    With this data , software will analyze / display , a list containing names / contact info of other citizens ( matched gender-wise ) , travelling on same , approximate ” route ” and the nearest pick-up points , on Google Map
    Citizens will then contact other vehicle-owners and form a CarPool
    Then , they will enter their CarPool Number ( as mentioned above )
    The software will reanalyze / redisplay the list if any entered data gets EDITED later
    After compiling data about ONE BILLION actual cumulative travels undertaken by each type of vehicle ( 2-3-4 wheeler ) , BIG DATA ANALYTICS software , will carry out ,
    * Millions of permutations / combinations of ” Car Pool Universes ” possible
    * Using ( updated version of ) ” Karmarkar's Algorithm ” , figure out the optimum Car Pool
    Universe which minimizes the overall pollution level in Delhi
    * Calculate for each citizen , the ” LEAST POLLUTING ROUTE ” based on data compiled
    from the ” Optimum Universe ” and send ” Car Pooling Recommendation ” to each
    citizen thru CarPool app

    This could be somewhat like ” Travelling Salesman Problem ” in Linear Programming ( – improved versions could be found in Fuzzy Logic / Neural Network / Artificial Intelligence )

    { ” Big data has the potential to make a huge impact on Public Services in India, as it will streamline the decision-making ” : Stephen Brobst , Global CTO , Teradata Corporation }

    Another suggestion :
    If ODD / EVEN rule provides for 50:50 probability and reduces the no of vehicles on roads by 50 % , use of an algorithm which picks only 25 % of the car numbers from the database of cars , using a RANDOM NUMBER TABLE , will reduce the vehicles on road to 25% !
    And nothing ” arbitrary ” about a computer selection , announced 24 hours earlier !
    This will eliminate the incentive to rush and buy a second car with either odd or even number !
    Given the prevalent START-UP wave in India, any number of Indian Start Up companies would be happy to take on this ” Two Part ” challenge and implement in 6 months . It is the least expensive / permanent / replicable solution , suitable for the entire World
    All that is required is a POLITICAL WILL and some genuine cooperation between Shri Gopal Rai ( Delhi Govt ) and Shri Nitin Gadkari ( Central Govt )
    It is time to offer to the World , an INDIAN ANSWER to vehicular pollution
    hemen parekh
    31 Dec 2015 > Blogs

  3. Merlin Joy

    This is one of the exciting article I have come across recently. I also have a travel related website

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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