~ The aim of the program is to ensure an effective lockdown while citizens are provided with the daily essential items. The service also takes into account the high risk population 60+ years citizens and enables them to order via call center ~
One of the biggest challenges of tackling the Covid19 pandemic through a lockdown intended to slow the spread of the virus has been the unintended consequence of the hardship and challenges families have faced in procuring essentials such as grocery, medicines etc. To alleviate the situation, Member of Parliament, Tejasvi Surya, along with ITW Consulting & Cartoon Mango launched the ‘COVID-19 Home Delivery’ in Bangalore. This initiative, an efficient COVID 19 helpline that will help the citizens of Bangalore South Police Division limits get door delivery of groceries and other essential daily needs, is going to be rolled out across the rest of the city soon.
Currently, there are 15 WhatsApp group and 120 volunteers catering to the needs of South Bangalore residents with respect to COVID 19 emergencies, receiving close to 3000 phone calls every day. With this new facility, citizens from Bangalore South can call the COVID-19 Home Delivery Helpline, set up by the Task Force of Tejasvi Surya, on 080 6191 4960.
They may also place their orders by sending a ‘Hi’ on the same number. Over 2.5 lakh households residing in South Bangalore constituencies can order groceries, medicines, fruits and vegetables through the helpline. The home delivery charges have been waived off currently and the purchases items would be delivered within a day. The process is as simple as typing out the list or sending a photo of the list of grocery items required or a picture of the doctor’s prescription in case of medicines.
The helpline is a result of a partnership and the ingenuity of some of Bengaluru’s best tech talent. ITW Consulting and Cartoon Mango have powered the back-end of the ordering system that seamlessly connects to every delivery partner working with the initiative and enables to create a coexisting ecosystem for all. Kaleyra has provided the WhatsApp Chat bot system, along with 7.ai manning of the Helpline call centre. The platform was built under the guidance of the Office of the MP, Elephant Ear Consulting and iSpirt.
It uses the integrated back end system to centralise information about the orders, and then sorts and connects them to the front end and last mile connectivity partners, who deliver them. Dunzo and Rapido are providing the last-mile delivery to the citizens of Kathriguppe. Meanwhile, PharmEasy and Spotcare assist in delivering medicines; Big Bazaar, StoreSe, ShopG (a community buying start-up), Clover Ventures, and Ninja Cart, are all delivering groceries and fruits to households as well as apartments in bulk. Housejoy has stepped in to help fumigate households and assist in delivery, while Let’s Be The Change has mapped all important stores that are verified and open.
“We noticed that many citizens continued to venture out to purchase groceries, fruits and vegetables during the lockdown, putting themselves at risk of getting infected by the coronavirus. In order to ensure citizens stay indoors during the COVID-19 lockdown period, we created this platform which provides for the home delivery of essential goods.” Tejasvi Surya said in a statement.
“We initially launched a pilot of this service in the Kathriguppe ward of Bengaluru. Based on the success of that project, we have extended the service to Bengaluru South Police Division limits. We’re glad to collaborate with ITW to develop the technical platform for the helpline,” he added.
Talking about this initiative, Karthik M Bhat, Business Head, ITW consulting said, “As a company, it is crucial that we work as a team and help people during the tough times. When this idea was initially brought to light, we wanted to start working and roll out the services initially. The beauty of the Platform is that it enables even those without a smartphone to go digital via the helpline no. and having every Kirana store listed on BBMP list made available for deliveries gives the people more choice.”
Mr. Hari Prasad, Co-founder, Cartoon Mango, who designed the back-end, spoke about this initiative and said,” We are a design studio that prides itself on its problem-solving capabilities and this was a great opportunity to do the same. Solutions like these are important during global crisis. This is a great initiative by Mr Tejasvi Surya and we are glad we could involve in its digital transformations.”
Citizens may also call their regular traders and request for home delivery. If the grocer does not support home delivery, he or she may also call the helpline requesting for the items to be picked up from the shop and delivered. Being an open platform, any last mile connectivity provider or a service provider in the area of essential goods can get involved, making it a scalable solution. Currently, there are a total of 1,926 shops that are open with which the services have tied up with. These include 958 provision stores, 323 vegetable stores, 479 medical stores, 82 meat stores and 84 other miscellaneous stores.