- Easier than writing a tweet. Post in 3 seconds.It takes less than 40 characters (1/3rd of a tweet) to post your issue. For e.g. Bad Roads, Garbage Scattered, Stray Dogs, etc. You may optionally describe your problem in detail or add pictures of the problem.
- How does it work?Once you post your issue, the respective politicians of that ward/area will auto-magically get notified about your issue and will start working on your issue and will keep you updated about their current status. They will notify you if the issue gets resolved and also attach a proof of their work. You must then check, verify and close the issue (if resolved).
- Be AnonymousThe best thing about NetaG is that you will remain anonymous on this app forever. Yeah...you heard that right... no one can find who you are, what you do or where you live. So feel free to post your issues and chat with your politicians bindaas.
- Chat with politiciansWhile your issue gets resolved, you can openly chat with these politicians to discuss about your issue. Psssss..... this is probably the first time you would be chatting with a politician and you'll love to hear their response .... I guarantee you, your perception about politicians will change completely :)
- No friend/follower conceptWe are not a social network. You don't have to connect with any politician to share your views or get issues resolved. All the magic happens automatically behind the scenes. Also, in order to speed up the process, NetaG sends your issues to your local municipal body via email.
We tried to learn about the local politician’s point of view in serving the public and were happy to see that politicians are very eager to help and resolve civic issues but sadly they were unaware of the problems in real-time.
- People do not approach us out of ignorance
In India, our knowledge of politicians is limited to the top politicians who appear on TV or social media like Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal, etc … but if you ask the youth about their elected Local Corporator or MLA, most of them won’t have a clue. This is because these local politicians don’t get screen time on national television nor do publicize themselves in a grand fashion until elections arrive. People do not know their names, address, contact numbers, Facebook profiles or Twitter handles. Also, people do not know whether they should take up their issue with the local corporator / MLA / MP or the local municipal body. This lack of knowledge about Whom To Address demotivates them from raising an issue.
NetaG’s Solution : On NetaG, when you post an issue, our system finds out the ward/constituency in which the problem lies and notifies* the local corporator/MLA/MP depending on the type of problem. In short, you don’t have to figure out whom to send this issue, all the magic happens behind the scenes.
* provided that the politicians are also using NetaG on their smartphone.
- People do not approach us due to lack of time
Let’s be honest, most of us are busy in our daily work and not everyone is vocal about public issues. Most of the time people ignore the pothole saying “Yeh hamara kaam nahi hai” or “Is desh ka kuch nahi ho sakta”. It’s not that politicians do not know about such problems that are obviously visible to all but what is really needed is to let them know about the impact it has on our lives in real-time. The process of issue resolution usually gets delayed due to inefficiencies at the bureaucratic level. Knowing the impact not only adds pressure on the local authorities, it also provides your local politicians with credible data that can help them demand action against officials and write policies to improve the system.
NetaG’s Solution : It takes less than 40 characters (1/4th of a tweet) or just 5 seconds to post your problem. e.g. Bad Roads. You don’t have to send it to any individual or organization. Our systems take care of redirecting your issues to the right official/politician (provided that the politicians are also using NetaG on their smartphone)
- People do not have faith in our intentions or abilities
We live in a world where prejudice and lies sells like hotcakes in the mainstream whereas positive news does not see the light of the day. Anchors are screaming at the top of their voice to tell you how bad your politicians are but unless you personally engage with your politicians and have a meaningful dialogue, you’ll end up watching an endless television debate that garners a million eyeballs and zero outcome.
NetaG’s Solution : In every issue, there is a separate DISCUSS tab where you can chat with all the politicians who are working on your issue. This discussion is visible to all to ensure transparency. Having an open interaction with your politician gives them an opportunity to inform you about the updates and challenges faced. This avoids confusion and helps you understand the situation better.
- People hesitate to inform us about problems
There have been multiple cases in the past where politicians have misused their power to silence those who raise issues in media or on a public platform. Several RTI activists have been murdered. It’s a huge cost one has to pay to put an end to illegal activities that thrive because of their political affiliations. Although, not all politicians are the same, still it (safety) remains a matter of concern and has to be accounted for when resolving issues.
NetaG’s Solution : By default, every common citizen is kept anonymous on our platform so that no one can find out who you are or where you live. You can safely chat with politicians and will be referred as ‘Issue Owner’ throughout your issue resolution journey.
- Reaching out to voters is an expensive & risky affair
Financially, it is not easy for any politician to afford an election campaign. Several crores of rupees are spent in ordinary civic elections. Annually political parties spend around a billion dollars on print and electronic media. The general elections held in 2014 cost a whooping Rs. 15000 Crore of which Rs.11000 Crore was spent on media and advertising. To give you some perspective, this is the more than twice the annual turnover of Reliance Power Industry. No wonder why there’s so much corruption in our country.
NetaG’s Solution : We do not have the concept of friend/follower. You do not have to connect with anyone to post issues or see their activities. NetaG is a location based app which is why politicians do not have to spend lakhs of rupees in setting up a huge follower base or paying influential twitter personalities to do their publicity. The moment they join NetaG they get the power to reach all common citizen on our platform who reside in their ward/constituency. This will not only reduce the campaign costs dramatically but will also be of great help to all aspiring candidates who struggle financially to support their campaign.
- Building Team – Although, our Android App is already available on Google Play Store since 2015, we could not expand our team back then due to lack of sufficient funds. Till now I’ve personally spent Rs. 3 lakh on infrastructure and operational expenses. With the help of your contribution I’ll be able to hire right talent for building a small but agile team. If interested, you can yourself apply to join our team by contacting us on email@example.com. Just tell us a bit about yourself, your best work (something you are really proud of) and tell us what makes you happy.
- Marketing – For NetaG to work effectively, it requires politicians to join our app so that they can receive notifications and update you about their progress/status on your issue. We scaled towards 4000+ users without a single penny spent on ads, thanks to the media for covering our story and the word of mouth publicity we got from our 1000+ happy users. However, we have a long way to go, as of now we are operating in few parts of Pune and we are hopeful to meet some of our goals (see below) with your support.
- iOS App – An iOS version of our app is currently under works.
- Infrastructure & Operational costs – Office space, Server costs, PC’s, Electricity, Internet
- Achieve funding goals by Oct 2016
- Build 5-8 Member team to manage core roles – tech, marketing, content
- Cover 50% Pune and achieve 60% Issue Resolution Throughput by Nov 2016
- Launch iOS Beta version of app by Dec 2016
- Reach 100,000 downloads by Mar 2017
- Launch in two more Tier-1 cities
- Launch Open Dashboard by April 2017 and assist political parties to identify key problems and recruit top talent across various sectors using our intelligent data to speed up policy making and reduce their marketing costs.
Communication, Transparency and Accountability are the three pillars on which NetaG is built. These are very much part of our culture. We will keep you updated about our progress through vlogs and blogs. Follow us on twitter to check out our updates.