WhatsApp helps residents in Mumbai reach work faster

Whispering Palms residents set an example with WhatsApp-operated car pooling. WhatsApp is being used as a medium for car pooling WhatsApp is being used as a medium for car pooling

WhatsApp is being used as a medium for car pooling
It’s called Lift Kara De (give me a lift) – a commuting story scripted by residents of Whispering Palms-4 in Lokhandwala, Kandivli.

A WhatsApp-operated car-pooling system, initiated a month back by a small team of residents using 25 cars, is catching on in the area. The system was started to teach auto drivers who always refused to ply a lesson and to reduce pollution and congestion on roads. Says Vilas Kanyal, Senior Vice-President of a Goregaon-based firm and a resident said “The group consists of members who want to offer their cars for voluntary pooling and those who want a lift. For example, I travel to Dindoshi every day. All I need to do is to post a message on the group the evening before about the route I am planning to take and the number of seats available in my car. Those members who are travelling to the same destination or was to be dropped along the way lets me know and we travel together.”

“The ‘my car my ride’ philosophy is a huge waste of fuel. Secondly, we were seeing some residents almost pleading in vain with rickshaw drivers. This car pooling has also brought about camaraderie among residents,” said music composer Madhav Azgaonkar, who offers his car to Seven Bungalows.

Kavita Shetty, an entrepreneur whose office is located at Citi Mall, Andheri West, said “I had stopped taking auto rickshaws, seeing their attitude. So, I used to take a bus to Kandivli station. But soon I learned about this initiative and found that two people in the group, Nilesh Mehta and Madhav Azgaonkar, travel very close to my office daily. We have now started travelling together.” During one such trip, they realised that they work on a common field and have even started collaborating on a project, she said.

The core team that started the initiative is now satisfied with the pilot project and has decided to take things to the next level, including plans to have a separate app. “We are now sure that this concept will work. So now, as part of phase two, we are trying to understand the route most of our members take, make a route map and put it up on the notice board. We are also using social media to spread word about this initiative as our complex consists of 1,500 flats and we want to add as many people as possible,” said Santosh Shetty.