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WeChat for Good Governance

June 15, 2013

This post was one of the winners in the IndiBlogger-WeChat blogging contest!

WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere - Winner

 

The other day I was exploring the features of WeChat, the latest application that I got to know because of the contest on IndiBlogger. My husband had written his post and I found the idea of a group-chat with imaginary characters quite fascinating. He, in fact, helped me install WeChat in my smartphone… and then my adventure began!

I had downloaded it and was finding some of its features quite interesting. Besides being able to chat and video chat with my friends who too are on WeChat, sending audio messages is also quite simple and easy… just press and hold the record button to record the message and then release to send. And bingo!… its gone!

While trying the features of ‘Shake’ and ‘Drift Bottle’ my imagination went wild.

‘Wish I shake my phone and get connected to  Delhi CM Shiela Dixit’, I thought, while going to Talkatora Garden for my morning walk… and with this thought, I shook my phone and voila… my wish came true… I got connected to the CM!

“Hi Sangita! Up so early?”

“Hi!” I replied, “On my way to Talkatora for my morning walk, Ma’am.”

“Nice place, for a morning walk! I was trying the new application WeChat and got connected to you while trying the ‘Shake’ feature.” It occurred to me that both of us were new to this great app.

“It can be very good tool for good governance, Madam CM.”

“Really? That’s interesting… tell me how?”

“You can get connected to citizen directly through the ‘look around’, ‘shake’ and ‘drift bottle’ features of WeChat even from your office and they can share with you real-time pictures and account of the happenings in and around the city.”

I lost no time, and immediately clicked the photos of the malba and garbage lying around and quickly shared them with her.

“It appears that Delhi is now transforming into a big garbage dump”, I wrote. “How can one dream of Delhi as a ‘world-class city’ with no regular garbage disposal?”

“Hmm, this is indeed serious”, she wrote back, “and with the coming monsoon the situation will become worse. This may lead to spread of Dengue and Malaria. I’ll need to show these pictures to the concerned officers.”

While she was writing this message, I was busy taking a video of a DTC bus that jumped the red light at the crossing and was honking continuously. I could see this happen even as I walked inside Talkatora… and this was so irritating!

I shared this video with the CM instantly. I did not want to lose the opportunity to let her see the real Delhi that a common man sees every day and not the one dressed-up by our bureaucrats especially for the CM.

“I noticed that the driver is driving without giving any thought for others on the road. His licence should be cancelled and it should also be seen who passed him in his driving test.”

Madam CM was apparently shocked to see the dangers a normal citizen is facing while travelling on the road. I then searched my picture gallery and sent her another where two under-age boys were driving a motorbike… and they were not wearing helmets.

WeChat_heros

WeChat_heros

The CM was shocked again and said, “It is time that people realised that being a road-hero is not good. And did you notice, Sangita, that this vehicle does not have a registration number too. I will share this picture with the traffic police commissioner.”

I then used the ‘Look Around’ feature to see if any other friend of mine was online on WeChat to be added to the group to chat with the CM. Fortunately, I found my friend Sameera who though, physically challenged, is a regular to the Talkatora Garden for morning walk. I invited her to the chat and got a quick response.

“Good morning, Madam CM! Good morning, Sangita!”

“Nice to see you on WeChat, Sameera. How do you do?” said the CM.

“I thank you for thinking about physically challenged people like me. Your Govt. made it compulsory for all buildings to be made disabled friendly. There are ramps in most of places and even in Talkatora Garden but most of them are unusable.”

“Why?” CM was surprised and she used the right emoticon here. It was fascinating to find the CM using this app like an expert. ‘Our CM is quick to pick up things quite fast’, I thought.

“Usually the ramps are blocked by the garbage or malba and the passage is rarely clear for the ramps to be used. No authority – PWD or MCD or NDMC is bothered about it.”

“See this”, and Sameera shared a picture of the ramp at Talkatora Garden. It was never accessible by her as some malba had been lying there for months now.

The picture that Sameera shared on WeChat

The picture that Sameera shared on WeChat

“It is a sad state of affairs”, said the CM, “I was given the impression that most parts of the city have been made disabled friendly.”

I said, “Good that you are on WeChat now Madam CM. You can directly contact people and get to know what is happening in their part of the city.”

“Earlier kings and queens used to disguise and interact with the people to know the actual state of affairs in their kingdoms. You can definitely use WeChat for good governance by connecting to people”, added Sameera.

By now we had reached Talkatora Garden. So far I could not ask Arvind to join our chat group as he was driving. Now that he was free, I invited him to join the group.

“Good Morning, everyone!” he sent a voice message.

“Ohhhh, we can have audio chat too!” exclaimed the CM.

“Yes, you can send an audio message to anyone who is around and receive one too”, explained Arvind to her.

“That’s interesting! Shall I try?” and then she sent an audio message of her recent ‘Jal Bachao’ campaign to the group.

We all agreed to spread her message to our friends’ list. And as I did so, my friend Neelima replied and I asked her too to join the group and talk to the CM.

Quickly she joined and shared Delhi Jal Board’s leaking pipe which she said has been so for the past one week or so.

“It is really sad. I now need to take leave of you all as I have to do other office work. But foremost would be to call a meeting of all authorities to tell them that I now have WeChat and can connect to people to get the actual state of affairs. This will definitely help me in good governance. Thanks for chatting with me. Hope to chat with you again to know more about the city.”

Indi_WeChat_blogging-contest_2013-600x261

This post is submitted as an entry in the indiblogger-Wechat blogging contestWeChat, the new way to connect!

Sangita Passey
15 June 2013

Results for the IndiBlogger WeChat India India contest announced! This post won me a Sony Smartwatch! 
http://www.indiblogger.in/topic.php?topic=81

Third Prize winners of IndiBlogger-WeChat Contest

Third Prize winners of IndiBlogger-WeChat Contest

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18 Comments
  1. Yeh idea mujhe kyuon nahin aaya?
    I’d say this is a smashing idea for a post on WeChat… convergence of technology with contemporary issues in governance!

    Congrats for writing a smashing post!

    Arvind Passey
    http://www.passey.info

  2. Mohammad Farooq permalink

    Nice way to put your views and issues through the post. Liked reading it. All the best for the contest.
    please do read my entry and share your views on the same. 🙂
    http://reveringthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/getting-back-the-group-and-the-friendship/

  3. reekycoleslaw permalink

    Wouldn’t that be great if Sheilaji carried her phone with Whatsapp and her reading glasses with her all the time? And why just her, the Police Commissioner, the heads of MCD, and all other authorities who seem to be asleep at the wheel should be on something like Whatsapp all the time!
    Good luck with the contest!

    • WeChat is FREE Rickie! Why should we allow govt. to pay our tax payers’ money on Whatsapp?

      Thanks for your wishes! 🙂

  4. Amazing idea! All the best for the contest Ma’am 🙂

    Here’s my entry: http://thelidislifted.blogspot.in/2013/06/presenting-god-with-oscar-wilde-others.html

  5. Hello mam, I really like your idea. It’s something to ponder upon. It’s something India needs desperately. All the best for the contest. 🙂
    Mine is HERE

  6. Quite an enthralling article, ma’am… I enjoyed it thoroughly and the fact that the article is so lifelike made the reading experience that much more special. It’s undoubtedly one of the most creative and authentic pieces that I have ever read on the IndiBlogger circuit. Wish you the very best of luck for the WeChat contest!!!

    Please do take some time out to check out my contest article:

    http://murtazaunplugged.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/my-dream-chat-wechat-with-anyone-anywhere/

    • Thanks Murtaza! Your appreciative words would definitely encourage me to write more often.

      Good luck too you too for the contest! 🙂

  7. enjoyed your much enthralling chat.. it was a good read..

    visit mine here –> A Rat’s Nibble – Happy September

  8. This one is thought provoking.. Nicely written..has a different take entirely and it shows a wonderful usage of technology..
    Congrts for the win Ma’am 🙂

  9. This thought, if perfectly implemented correctly, could turn out to be a breakthrough in the field of politics. The idea really deserves sheer appreciation!

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