Technology

This polls season, Gadfly app helps you connect with elected representatives

The general perception about our elected representatives is that once they get the mandate, they move away from their constituents, and reappear only for the next election. So much so that the very people who voted soon forget who their MP or MLA is. And, it is not easy to find out who your representatives are or get their contact details.

However, tech entrepreneur Nikhil Bapna was convinced that there is a solution in software to fix such ‘democracy issues’, and set up a company called Wabi Tech two years ago, based out of Delhi. It has developed a mobile app, Gadfly CitiHub, to bridge the gap between the electors and the elected.

Rich set of data

The app lists all MPs, MLAs and municipal corporators, and the database is constantly updated. It automatically detects the location of the user and displays the name of the elected representative of that area. Data for a different locations can be found by keying in another place name. The app gives not only the legislators’ basic details, social media feeds and recent news in which they have figured, but also provides options for users to reach out to them via a phone call, or send a message via email or Twitter or Facebook Messenger.

Karnataka elections

In the run-up to the Karnataka polls on May 12, the app, available in English, Hindi and Kannada, has added a module ‘Are You Election Ready’ that has all the details about the over 3,000 candidates who are in the fray, including their party name, age, educational qualification, net worth, occupation, link to a recent news item, and contact details.

This polls season, Gadfly app helps you connect with elected representatives

“Often, there is too much noise and too little thought behind who to vote for. Now, voters have a tool to help cut out the noise and get straight to the facts. Over time, we have plans to take this project to the next level, with a host of innovative features that will make choosing a leader a much better process for citizens,” said Bapna, President, Wabi Tech, in a telephonic interaction.

A beta version of the ‘Election Ready’ module was used during the recent Tripura election. “The response was great and many politicians from various parties got involved in sending additional information to be listed in the app,” said Bapna, who has majored in International Relations, Economics and Finance.

The app is available in the US and Canada too. In June, the app will take the ‘Election Ready’ module to Canada for the Ontario Provincial elections.

This polls season, Gadfly app helps you connect with elected representatives

The recent Economist Intelligence Unit’s compilation of the Global Democracy Index showed that in 2017 India slipped 10 places to the 42nd rank out of 165, and the country continued to be classified as a “flawed democracy”. Nations that are ranked higher have mature political systems, where citizens are able to share ideas and provide feedback to their representatives on many governance matters, said Bapna, who has studied at the University of Southern California and then Brandeis University, both in the US.

He hoped that Gadfly would be a great enabler on this front. “Technology makes a huge difference in our lives. The goal, going forward with Gadfly, is to improve how democracy works around the world,” he said.

No data saved

Gadfly doesn’t require you to register or sign up. The developers say that the app is neutral, secure and it does not store any personal data of the user. If you want to send an email or a Tweet to an elected representative, Gadfly opens the relevant app in your device so that you can complete the process.

The app is free and is available on the Google Play Store and Apple app store. Minimum system requirements: Android 4.1 and above, iOS Version 9 and above.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 3:37:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/gadfly-citihub-app-helps-in-reaching-out-to-your-elected-representatives/article23803138.ece

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