MeraSMS - Sending right information, at the right time.

MeraSMS: How SMS and Cloud-Data connects neglected' communities to vital information and resources-

sending right information, at the right time

From lacking access to free-education schemes to being denied maternal and primary healthcare, Asia's and Africa's slums and refugee settlements are infamous for being stuck in the inaccessible information gap and their day-to-day struggles to avail basic amenities are made worse by their lack of personal documentation, information and the structural barriers in the policy-implementation systems.


We asked ourselves a question:

How do you efficiently connect these isolated communities and their humanitarian crises to NGOs , Government Welfare and the vital information and amenities that they need?

The solution

The Power of Dumb Phones + Cloud-Data

1

Communities share reports using SMS-Voice platform

Apart from receiving financial and health related educational information, our SMS-Voice platform allows  ground-volunteers, comprising of local residents of the isolated slum and refugee settlements and young students, to report instances of inaccessibility to education, health care or other humanitarian need.

2

Mapping & Changemaker Match-making

The reports are mapped using a crowdmapping engine and the data is analyzed and communicated to match the target community-members to aid/nonprofit organizations or changemakers alike.

3

Identifying eligible families for Government Welfare Programs

Moreover, crowdmapped-data and SMS-Voice platform is used to identify families who are eligible for certain life-transforming government welfare schemes such as the JSSK (maternal health), The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act,), PMJDBY (Zero-Deposit Banking Scheme for Poor) etc.

4

MeraSMS steps in again to make assistance-delivery happen

Finally, the target families receive SMS-Voice based tutorials and support from ground-volunteers, while we work with the target nonprofit/government bodies to deliver aid and assistance to those who need it the most.

Project Khoj in action.


 

We developed a solution that works despite the lack of infrastructure and digital access in the urban slums and refugee settlements. Here's how we are working accross regions and communities:

1

EXISTING PROGRAMS: We started using the crowdmapping mechanism to re-caliberate our existing maternal care and financial literacy voice-message services. Now, it's much more easier for our ground-volunteers to connect new mothers to our service, identify mothers who are eligible for Indian Gov.'s JSSK (maternal care scheme), and provide referalls to nearby free maternal care facilities and welfare programs using geo-tagged data. Moreover, our financial literacy program now involves region-specific job alerts and vocational training opportunities.'

2

EDUCATION & HEALTHCARE FOR URBAN SLUMS: The crowdmapping mechanism now allows us to identify instances of inaccessibility to education or healthcare in the isolated urban slum communities. Our ground-volunteers, usually comprising of local slum residents or community-leaders, use our SMS-Voice platform to report instances of any family's inaccessibility to education, healthcare or other vital amenity. The data is then used to collaboratively work with NGO/government/charity schools and alike changemakers to connect the target families and children to free-educational and healthcare opportunities. The crowdmapping engine, SMS-Voice platform and ground-volunteers also help us identify and educate eligible families and help them gain access to The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, which ensures 25% free-seats in every private school for below-poverty-line families. Read More. 

3

ROHINGYA REFUGEE CAMPS IN INDIA: From being denied healthcare at government hospitals to income-generating jobs, the 40,000 Rohingya refugees are still struggling to survive with basic amenities after fleeing from their conflict-hit homes. Amidst the recent deportation orders from the Indian government, our SMS-Voice platform is connecting and providing vital information to Rohingyan leaders like Mohammad Sallimullah and Mohammad Shakir, the two petitioners who have knocked the doors of the Indian Supreme Court to challenge the government's order. Fortunately, UNHCR's partner NGOs have been offering life-transforming assistance for New Delhi's Rohingyan and Afghan refugees with healthcare and education opportunities. We are also using our crowdmapping platform to collect and communicate crowdsourced data to aid organizations and alike changemakers to deliver humanitarian assistance to the individuals.

4

MPAKA REFUGEE CAMP IN SWAZILAND: over 300 families, who are mainly from Democratic Republic of Congo, Barundi and Somalia , are currently accomodated in the camp. However, figures from UNHCR have documented mere 800 individuals so far. Moreover,residents decried that they are not being provided with food. MeraSMS is currently testing its crowdmapping data collection to identify needs of over 200 refugees in the camp. We are working with United World College of  SA and alike changemakers to provide door-to-door delivery of basic supplies, and other humanitarian aid.