IIT Kharagpur graduates, Gaurav Srivastava, 33, and Aravind Ravi Sulekha, 31, are trying to revive the good ol’ neighbourhood culture with a new app. Called Hey Neighbor, the Android app lets you connect with people in and around your locality and understand your neighbourhood better. So, you can reach out to each other to find a reliable maid, the best parlour or school in your area, ways to dispose off old clothes, or even rent out a room. You can share a ride, find company for coffee or a good game during weekends, or step up to foster their pets.
That’s why the app has managed to get a good 9,000 downloads in little over two months, and is on its way to spread the wings to Mumbai and Pune. Srivastava, a Marathahalli resident, tells us, “We started this as an experiment during the BBMP elections. We had tied up with an NGO and were encouraging people in different areas to go and vote. The response was good, so we thought why not expand it.”
Now on any given day, 30 per cent of their users are actively using the platform. While residents of Koramangala, Indiranagar and Marathahalli were the earliest adopters, 20 other localities have now entered its chat rooms.
And, the range of discussions happening there has even the founders amazed. Srivastava adds, “Some have come together to clean up garbage in Murugeshpalya. A few have even shared their numbers and asked women to call them up when they are crossing Marathahalli at night, so they feel safe.” The team of 14 constantly monitors the discussions to maintain peace in the online communities and also take feedback on the performance of the app.
— Barkha Kumari