Uttar Pradesh’s WhatsApp Chaupal – Bringing hope for farmers #DigitalUP
Internet is an incredible tool sustaining new trends, technological advancements, and decreasing distance with each passing day. And here the most widely accepted seems to be WhatsApp, a mobile chat application where one can share pictures, videos, documents, voice notes, etc. Undoubtedly, this app has proven to be beneficial in all walks of life, be it for a student, a professional, or a retired personnel. This represents a great opportunity to bridge geographical distances for people, and the Uttar Pradesh government decided to make the most of it.
Recently, the Department of Agriculture, Uttar Pradesh, launched Participatory Crop Surveillance and Response System, a direct interface between farmers in the state and the directorate of agriculture through mobile phones. The farmers of Uttar Pradesh have “WhatsApp cover” for their crops. Farmers, agriculture experts, and even aware citizens can drop information about crops affected with pests and insects on two mobile numbers – 9452247111 and 9452257111 – which the department has kept specially for receiving complaints related to infected crops. Those who own a smartphone can lodge complaints and queries using WhatsApp while others may simply send an SMS for the same.
Inspired by this digital initiative of Akhilesh Yadav, people in Uttar Pradesh are forming many groups on WhatsApp, popularly known as “WhatsApp Chaupal” to educate and share information on different farming methods and techniques. The WhatsApp chaupal redefines chaupal, the Hindi word for village square where elders meet to discuss matters of importance. Chaupal is a starting point for reflecting on key challenges in achieving “Solution-For- All-Agricultural- Problems” and developing effective response system. For farmers it is a win-win situation. Sitting in their village, they can participate.
Such initiatives taking place in Uttar Pradesh, makes us feel proud of our state government. The digital initiatives introduced by Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party is creating a digital atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh. Through these digital initiatives people can foster communication, engagement, and interaction. UPCM is the man behind Integrating technology into the state which is resulting in a progressive Uttar Pradesh.