CHENNAI: If the Chennai floods have taught Shri Vigneshwar one thing, it’s that a crisis cannot be solved with chaos. The software developer, who was one of the thousands who volunteered during the calamity, has created an app, simply called ‘Hope’, to help streamline relief efforts, for the next time a disaster strikes.
Innovated to cater to three sections of people - victims, volunteers and donors who want to contribute funds - the app will be available for smartphone users (both Android and iPhone) by the end of the week.
The idea, recalls the techie, was borne out of the repeat waste of resources he saw while doing relief work in flood-hit parts of the city. “The biggest problem I found was that because of stagnant posts on social media, we would visit the same places over and over again,” he tells us.
Despite the fact that there were more volunteers than victims during the Chennai floods, this software developer, like many others who volunteered, realised that their resources were often being underutilised when they did relief work. “The biggest problem I found was that because of stagnant posts on social media, we would visit the same places over and over again,” he recalls.
Making this issue twice as bad, was the fact that people travelled from across the city through waterlogged roads, to get there. “So we’re solving that problem by mapping the entire state - city-wise, district-wise, zone-wise and area-wise,” he tells us. “This way, when someone raises an alert for help, the information will first reach the 10 volunteers who are nearest to him,” Vigneshwar explains.
There’s even a ‘verification button’ at the bottom of the page, that can be clicked on by the first person to arrive on the scene. Currently, work is also in the pipeline to establish payment gateways for those want to make donations to flood victims through Vigneshwar’s foundation Hope Tamil Nadu.
“In the future, we want use for multiple causes, to help money reach those in need across the spectrum,” he adds.