WhatsApp has indeed successfully built a rather interesting community of over 1.2 billion monthly based active users worldwide by being able to allow these users to message friends for free. Yet, in India, where WhatsApp has about 160 million monthly active users, the service has become more than a “no-cost chatting app.”
In recent years, the authorities have indeed caught on to WhatsApp’s potential for being able to engage more directly with the given Indian public, especially in some of the country’s megacities.
WhatsApp has proved to be very useful for many purposes in our daily lives and has indeed become a popular App. It is becoming an essential component of daily communication be it at a personal level or commercial or official level.
It is interesting to take note of some its useful applications that are taken seriously and thus its popularity as a technological tool cannot be negated.
Increasing women’s safety
A WhatsApp safety group does enable New Delhi women who are able to travel by public transport to send the required photos and also the details of the vehicle to the police before being able to board it. Set up as both a deterrent for the sex crimes and also to boost women’s confidence, the group can also be made use of to alert the local police in emergencies.
A number of cities have also launched WhatsApp numbers for reporting crimes, traffic problems, and other disturbances. Whatsapp groups launched by the local in Hyderabad, Telangana have received 341 complaints in just 30 days. In Delhi, a traffic complaints system saw over 250 messages pour in within just a few hours of Whatsapp launch. People are able to contact local police with regard to traffic violations, unauthorized parking or even overcharging by taxi drivers as well as faulty traffic signals apart from many other complaints. They can also attach the video footage or photographs to their messages and back up their claims.
Holding politicians to account
Authorities, for example, in Kerala have taken citizen participation one step further and that is people can use WhatsApp to file complaints against corrupt government officials, along with the required video as well as photo evidence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has indeed even resorted to a WhatsApp group to get rid of the absenteeism among MPs. It informs politicians about the important meetings and parliamentary sessions they should be able to attend.
Helping flood victims
Beyond bringing government as well as public institutions rather closer to the people, WhatsApp has also been able to prove itself useful as a tool for being able to connect communities.
One indeed requires WhatsApp in essential communication forums and getting hold of it as a purposeful tool cannot be undermined. The need to have WhatsApp to conduct daily affairs is felt quite acutely and purchasing the App is worth indeed the investment. Individuals and companies are making use of it more frequently than ever before.