Jala app helps the frontline workers in Kozhikode to order drinking water online which will be delivered to them in less than fifteen minutes
One evening, V Lijeesh of Kozhikode was watching the regionally popular Coronavirus press address of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on TV. The CM spoke about the lack of drinking water for frontline workers, and that every individual must try to help these COVID warriors because they were on the road under the scorching sun just for us, recollects Lijeesh. This struck a chord to 11 like-minded friends of Lijeesh as well. Within 10 days, the team, along with Kozhikode Corporation, launched an app called Jala.
As the name suggests, the app is all about water, drinking water, to be specific. Discussing the working model, Lijeesh says, “If a frontline worker in and around the Kozhikode region needs water, he can order it using this app. Within 15 minutes, our volunteers would reach a one-litre bottle to them. And it is completely free of cost to frontliners,” he exclaims. From the official launch of the app in April, the team has distributed about 9000 water bottles till date.
The water bottles are purchased in bulk from local mineral water manufacturers and vendors. Jala is involved in the distribution network and does not produce water, confirms Lijeesh.
But wait, there are a few interesting terms and conditions as well. “The water is delivered free of cost. Hence, after receiving the order, we call the person and confirm they are a frontline worker. After that, we assign a delivery volunteer. Also, the water should be consumed by a single person. Strictly no sharing. This is just a precautionary measure to avoid spreading of the virus. The volunteers also follow strict prevention protocols like wearing masks, gloves, overcoat and so on,” says Lijeesh and adds, “The water must be used for immediate consumption only. The person is not allowed to stock bottles for later use. This is to prevent exploitation of the resource.” These precautionary measures were prescribed by a few doctor friends of the team.
As we were discussing too much about the app, we quickly checked Google Play Store, and we weren’t able to find it, for which Lijeesh explains, “Due to lockdown, the review of the app is a bit delayed. Since it is an emergency, we have provided the link for downloading the app through our official website.” and adds, “Our aim is to reach the Corona warriors at the right time, however, we are not sure whether we would have enough funds to continue the process even post lockdown.”
Sharing the difficulties to raise funds, he says, “We are planning to organise a ‘Donate a bottle campaign’ and have also included a donate option in our official website. Anyone interested can donate a bottle. The price for a one-litre bottle is just Rs 10. Still, we don’t see enough people coming forward for the donation, which is worrisome.”
So, can you donate a bottle of water today?