Though India is the world’s largest democracy, access to our politicians has not been one of our strong points. While the advent of Internet and then the social media has made it possible to shout out to your representatives or those in power, this hasn’t been powerful enough for accountability to kick in. This is why the so-called Democracy Tech space is mushrooming in many parts of the world.
In India, Gadfly – Citizen’s Hub, a new app by NCR-based Wabi Tech, is hoping to start some conversations by helping citizens closer to their elected representatives via a single platform. The app uses location data to show the user elected representatives of that particular area and given on touch access to their contact details and social media presence. The app also lets them send an email or text messages to the MPs, MLAs, and councillors.
Nikhil Bapna, president at Wabi Tech, says, “Tech already makes a huge difference in our lives. The goal going forward with Gadfly is to improve how democracy works around the world.” He said elected representatives have been positive about initiatives such as Gadfly as they would earlier find it hard hearing from citizens.
Gadfly lets users share their thoughts and ideas with the government. Also, the app users spam filters set up by Twitter and Facebook to ensure that representatives are not flooded with junk messages. The app, available in Hindi and English, is live for locations across India and the US. In India, all parliamentarians are listed while in some locations the MLAs are missing. In Delhi and Mumbai, the app also makes available data of municipal councillors.