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Everyone part of the team CovidAsha, mostly women, has a full-time job but they’ve volunteered to be Covid warriors.
When the second wave of Covid-19 hit earlier last year, no one excepted things to escalate so much. People took to social media asking for ICU beds, oxygen, plasma and more, as someone within their social circle was fighting for their lives. Many lives were lost as a lot of time went to waste just finding suppliers. Unfortunately, the numbers only increased over time.
Understanding the need and desperation of everyone, marketing professional Alysha Lobo approached some startup founders to create a chatbot called CovidAsha which will provide real-time verified information on oxygen procurement, refilling and ambulance services.
Krishna Tyagi and Tamaghna Basu came on board to get the project going, and slowly, the team grew to have more volunteers.
Alysha, who is the only woman on the board team of any Covid chatbot created, says, “It felt like such a need of the hour. We contacted everyone we knew within our circle and outside to see who can help with the tech, get information and be Covid warriors from home.”
The team of CovidAsha is a vibrant one. From entrepreneurs to professionals, none of whom have met or worked with each other before, along with their full-time jobs, work together to ensure the app is working 24/7.
“We have a set of volunteers who helped create the bot, another set to verify the suppliers, some to design to website, to take care of the content and also a wonderful team that helps connect us with the suppliers,” says Alysha.
CovidAsha was first launched as a Telegram bot and is now compatible with WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram and the CovidAsha website.
In simple terms, it aims to bridge the gap between suppliers and people who have Covid-related needs. All you have to do is tell the chatbot what you’re looking for — give your location along with requirements such as medicines, oxygen, plasma or ambulance, along with contact details — and the bot will connect you with verified suppliers matching the requirements.
It’s Vidhi Shah’s team at RC Medicrew who ensure the suppliers are verified and provide authentic data.
Vidhi says, “We are paramedic students from 65 cities who have volunteered to help out. We were working on our excel sheets before Alysha was introduced to us and we merged both our intel to make it more tech-savvy. It was a coincidence that our visions matched.”
Coordinated through over 200 WhatsApp groups, the paramedic students use their contacts to weed out the unhelpful suppliers by calling them twice (or more) a day to check their availability. There’s also a team that inputs all the data thrice a day and sends it to the tech team to make it app-friendly.
“I’m the only one who is a graduate on the team. The rest are students, interns and on Covid duty. Everyone is super passionate about helping and because they see the ground reality every day, they have the fuel in them to want to make a difference,” Vidhi adds.
Suppliers can also register with CovidAsha. Every few hours, the chatbot will ping the suppliers to ask if they have any availability. If there isn’t one, the ping stops.
It’s live in seven languages with over 14,000 users and 5,000 suppliers. Approximately, 350 people have marked the chatbot helpful.
CovidAsha is a zero funded group, but they’ve partnered with RC Medicrew, Pharmeasy, StanPlus, VMedo and The Better India.
Though they cannot stop the pandemic, CovidAsha team aims to help as many lives as possible so everyone stays safe and are able to get back to their loved ones.
For more details, log on to www.covidasha.org
Image Source: By Athor
This post has published with none or minimal editorial intervention. Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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