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Covid effect: Testing pandemic times helped people connect with neighbours more in Bengaluru, finds survey

According to 'Trust Circle', a survey carried out by community security management app MyGate, 80.65 per cent of the respondents in the Karnataka capital said that they were more likely to depend on their neighbours in case they needed urgent help at present, as compared to pre-Covid times.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: July 9, 2021 8:12:07 pm
Further, it was noted that 98.79 per cent of respondents in Bengaluru agreed that their relationship and dependence with their neighbours, local vendors, and support staff (watchman, delivery personnel, and households) improved during the pandemic. (Photo: AP/Representational)

In a rare affirmative development observed during the testing Covid-19 times, a recent survey held in Bengaluru has observed that the importance of social support systems and neighbourhood was re-established with more people beginning to depend on neighbours like how they were to friends and family pre-pandemic.

According to ‘Trust Circle’, a survey carried out by community security management app MyGate, 80.65 per cent of the respondents in the Karnataka capital said that they were more likely to depend on their neighbours in case they needed urgent help at present, as compared to pre-Covid times.

MyGate is present in 2,300 gated communities in Bengaluru alone.

Vijay Arisetty, CEO and Co-Founder of MyGate, told Indianexpress.com that it was heartening to hear the many stories of neighbours coming closer together to tackle such an unprecedented situation for over a year now. “From this research, we can infer that these stories are not mere anomalies but the real expansion of our trust circle. The pandemic has re-infused the need to be connected with one’s neighbours, with all demographics showing greater trust in members of the neighbourhood than before, be it the family next door, the local chemist or the apartment security guard,” he said.

Further, it was noted that 98.79 per cent of respondents in Bengaluru agreed that their relationship and dependence with their neighbours, local vendors, and support staff (watchman, delivery personnel, and households) improved during the pandemic. “Another interesting trend seen was that 50 per cent of those who participated in the survey from Bengaluru engaged with their househelps beyond work, offering tea, coffee, food or even a salary of three months or more as loan if required,” the report read.

Meanwhile, Trust Circle highlighted that the same trend at a national level was, however, noted to be at 73 per cent. The survey was conducted in other cities such as Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, including Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.

When asked why such a study was conducted, Arisetty explained, “Through this, we hope to understand the trust deficits that exist in communities, which would help us work on building bridges to overcome such challenges.”

At the national level, ‘Trust Circle’ survey was attended by 2,867 people across age groups, the company clarified.

Privacy, security of user info maintained: MyGate CEO

However, several residents in Bengaluru and other cities had raised data privacy concerns as the MyGate app regulates entry of visitors and delivery personnel among others.

For instance, Akhil G, a user of the app in south Bengaluru said, “MyGate has specific data on what vehicle I own, who visits me, what food I order, who I have employed at home and the number of people in my house at a time. Off lately, we have been wary of this data being sold to others with our privacy being compromised.”

Reacting to such concerns, CEO Arisetty said, “We have always ensured utmost privacy and security of the information that our users share with us, since our inception. We offer advanced privacy controls in our industry, and are possibly among the top tier among all consumer apps in the country.” He added that the company had implemented the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) guidelines. “We are developing detailed protocols that will comply with the latest Data Protection Bill as well,” he added.

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