Published: 01st May 2020
Pune start-up Haqdarshak's mobile app can help you avail welfare schemes amid the COVID-19 lockdown
Haqdarshak's helpline, mobile app and outreach programmes specific to the COVID-19 pandemic will support and help citizens to get access to government welfare schemes
For the last four years, Haqdarshak, a start-up with headquarters in Pune has been connecting citizens with welfare schemes they are eligible for through their tech platform. But the COVID-19 lockdown has made them more relevant than ever — they have launched a mobile app that will let people know about and avail the relevant schemes from their phones.
Their technology has been matching citizen profiles with scheme eligibility to determine a customised list of eligible government schemes for which they also ensure last-mile support. "The COVID-19 pandemic has taken us all by surprise with very little time to put up an effective fight. At Haqdarshak, we have never felt more relevant. The people that we work for, the workers, the farmers, the migrants, among others have been hit the hardest with impending lockdowns. To help these vulnerable communities, we have launched a number of services. While the end goal remains the same — supporting people access welfare programmes — the nature of our implementation has definitely changed," says Aniket Doegar, the founder and CEO of Haqdarshak.
To make the relief process easy and accessible to its rightful beneficiaries, the team has launched the Haqdarshak mobile app. Available in 11 languages, the app can be used offline as well to check eligibility for various COVID-19 related relief schemes as well as other critical welfare programmes. Further, the user can request help for applying to the schemes. Currently, the app can be downloaded from their web portal but soon it will go on the Google Play Store as well. "People can search for all kinds of welfare and relief schemes by the government specific to the pandemic such as cash transfers, pension, health insurance, life insurance and the likes," adds Aniket.
They have also launched a multi-state, multi-language helpline to provide first-hand information about government and private interventions. To ensure the most vulnerable know about the relief packages, the team has designed easy to use infographics in multiple languages, which can be found on their website. "We are also making easy to understand scheme videos, and will soon also disseminate the information to rural Indians via an IVR-based system. All this content is available on our website and is free to use. The helpline numbers are language-specific and people can choose their preferred language in separate cities/states across the country," explains Aniket. Meanwhile, their team members have also been active across the country, helping citizens in terms of their outreach programme, which targets those who do not have access to websites or the mobile app. "In Tamil Nadu, we are helping beneficiaries of the Jan Dhan Yojana DBT by helping them withdraw funds, in Delhi NCR we have helped labourers access ration kits while in Mumbai we have helped communities connect with agencies which are distributing food and essential items," the founder adds.
As a team, they have set an objective of helping one million workers this year access their entitlements and welfare programmes. "The goal of Haqdarshak was to empower women entrepreneurs in rural India, self-help groups, so that they can help their village/community members later. We were also training them for the same, which we are currently conducting online. The mobile app is only on Android right now, but we have plans of scaling it up further. We had a helpline before COVID which was only available in English and Hindi, then we expanded it to 11 languages during the pandemic with the help of our own 200 people-strong team," says Aniket.
The helpline numbers were launched from April 1 and calls came in from all parts of the country. Haqdarshak has already supported over 6000 families through the initiative and about 4000 families offline. The app was launched on April 20 and Aniket says they want more community members and NGOs to download it and then de-centralise the services.
As for their future plans during the crisis, "We will definitely scale up the mobile app and try to provide last mile support. We are also planning to launch a platform for proprietors, business owners, something in the next one month, we have observed that a lot of schemes have been announced for small businesses, shopkeepers with tax benefits, loans. They need to be aware of those," concludes Aniket.
You can access the platform, app, know more about their schemes here: https://