Helping the disabled find love for two years
Inclov, a mobile app, focuses on more than match-making; it’s platform is open for meeting like-minded people too
CHENNAI: If you think finding love and also a partner who is likeminded and match-making is tough, ask yourself again: is it really? There are approximately 60 million single people with disability (PwD), who are looking for a partner. Platforms where PwDs can meet and interact to find their right match are limited. But, in the last one year, things have taken a positive turn, thanks to Inclov (Inclusive love), a mobile application, which is accessible and inclusive for people with any kind of disability, disorder and also for people without disability. The app, which was launched in January 2016, recently conducted its second Social Spaces (Chennai) meet up (Inclov’s offline platform) at Zorba Yoga Studio, we caught up with its co-founder, Shankar Srinivasan and the participants there to know more. The first Chennai meet up was held in April 2015 at Elliot’s Beach and Shankar recalls, “This was even before the app launch.
I was here for a two-day workshop and thought that we should have a meet up. We chose Elliot’s Beach as it was accessible and there were just 10 to 12 people. It’s not just about matchmaking, but also about meeting new people.” Since then, Inclov grew from 100 users in its first month to over 7,000 users across India. “Tamil Nadu has about 200 to 250 users and 90% are from Chennai. The rest are from Coimbatore, Vellore and other areas,” smiles Shankar.
The app matches people on the basis of cure, medical condition, and level of independence and lifestyle choices and also caters to people with visual impairment, colour blindness and retinal disorders through optimal readability of profile pages. Lakshmi, a 60-year-old mother, who was a part of the event says, “My son is 35 and he has retinitis pigmentosa (a degeneration of the nerve cells on the retina that leads to blindness, it has no cure yet). I am looking to find the right companion for him. He has been using this app for almost a year and he has met a few people… it’s nice to see him meet likeminded people.”
Similarly, Kaarthik a PwD, shares that in his search for a life partner, he has made several friends across the country in a year. “For us, it’s not easy to meet every day or even every month for that matter. So, such offline meet ups help us in interacting more…but, yes I am still waiting for ‘the one’,” he smiles. While the main focus of the app is on PwDs and those with health disorders, Shankar reveals that half the user-base is of people without disabilities. “While some are curious to know how it works, a majority are there for different reasons.
For example there is a girl whose parents are disabled and she wants to find a partner who is a PwD. There are other such cases as well,” he explains. The novel matchmaking app has active users across the country and Chennai ranks among the top seven cities, in terms of number of users. “Our next focus is to encourage these users to conduct their own off-line meet-ups, every month or so. They don’t need our help to conduct these meets and we are working towards that,” he says. In 2015, Inclov registered on a crowd funding platform — Wishberry, to upgrade the app — Inclov 2.0. “The upgraded version was launched recently and it has an inbuilt algorithm, which shows matches around the user, based on preferences and needs. We will also be launching it outside India soon,” he adds. For details, visit: www.inclov.com