Indies app aims to bring volunteers closer to stray dogs

PUNE:Raja Narasimhan noticed that there are several WhatsApp groups where stray dog problems and solutions were being discussed. He observed that in each of these groups, there were very few volunteers who worked on the ground and too many people who were ‘advised’.”The same kind of information would be asked repeatedly.As I was made a member of one of the groups in our area, I kept wondering why people never discussed the solutions,” he said.

He and his wife created a small group from within their locality. They started meeting more number of people to get infor mation on wider spectrum. “We did lot of brain stroming about this in order to come up with a solution where we could bring genuine good doers together. Then, we created a proper team to put up a technical and functional requirement document. We initially thought we could do it for our area but slowly graduated to our city and now we see a whole system standing for the country. As my wife and I alrady run Sare Jahan Se Acha, a registered not-for-profit company, it was easy for us to approach corporates and present the case,” he added.

This gave birth to Indies, a technology platform which aims to enable volunteers in India who are directly working on the field to perform their voluntary tasks more effectively. the whole system is designed in such a way that a lifecycle of stray dog or Indie is managed through this app-right from birth to death – birth and locality details, regular vaccination schedule, sterillisation, de-worming, medication history if required, GPS based rescue, missing and found, adoption and foster is present. The app is built with notifications so that alerts are sent when it is required. “The whole system works on a linkage between Indies(stray dogs),buddies (volunteers) and buddy heads(ward beads),Buddy heads are experienced volunteers who have been performing welfare tasks for a few years. To make sure the buddied and buddy heads are well connected, we have introduced Forum(replacement for Whatsapp groups)within the system so that serious and business like discussion take place. In order to motivate buddies and buddy heads, we have introdued gamification in app ie.,scoring based on tasks performed.”

Abzooba Infotech, an analytics company, agreed to sponsor the back-end development for the Indiies mobile app.

As of now, they have created a core team which will be responsible for its strategic execution. They are in the process of creating a sub committee for day-to-day functioning. He said it was difficult to convince sponsors. “Many corporates have their own objectives and it was challenging.” The app was launched on Saturday by Rajendra Jagtap, CEO,Pune Smart City.

Reducing Human-Animal Conflict

Three Main Objectives:
1. Reduce human and animal conflict through various educative and awareness drives.
2. Speed up sterilisation drives to scientifically and systematically control the Indies population
3. Implement various vaccination programmes including anti-rabies through existing channels.

Achieving 5 Cs

  • Collar: Indies will be collared with inbuilt NFC chip to store details of an Indie
  • Census: Get proper census area-wise
  • Control: Sterilise and vaccinate dogs
  • Co-Exist: Spread awareness
  • Collaborate: Connect with the good doers including the medical fraternity and other related service providers.

How should one go about the App?

Anybody can download the app. Raja said, “The way we have designed the system is to first identify a senior volunteer in a particular ward in a city, who is called a buddy head in our system.” Buddy heads are responsible people who have been doing stray dog welfare work for few years now. For a particular ward, once a buddy head starts using it, he/she can invite his juniors, called buddy in the system, to join him/her.