Namma Kovai is a WhatsApp group comprising of citizens, government officers, police officials, heads of education institutions, any many others in Coimbatore. And together they are solving one issue after another in the city.
A Coimbatore-resident recently spotted an over-speeding private bus passing the busy Avinashi Road. He immediately took a picture of the bus and posted it on a WhatsApp group named Namma Kovai, to spread information about it. Little did he know that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Dr. R. Sivakumar was also a member of the same group! He noted the issue and called up the concerned police station within 10 minutes of the picture being shared.
In a matter of just one hour, police officials traced the driver, caught him, and took action. The driver had to pay a fine and a picture of the receipt was shared on the group.
This is an example of just one of the many civic issues in Coimbatore that this WhatsApp group has helped solve. Started by Kishore C., the Managing Trustee of an NGO named My City Clean City (MC3), the group has 197 members. Namma Kovai means ‘Our Coimbatore’ and the group includes former District Collector Archana Patnaik, Corporation Commissioner Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan, the Superintendent of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police – Law and Order and Traffic, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) – Central and South, Sub-Collector, different industrialists of Coimbatore, heads of educational institutions, corporate officials, District Forest Officer (DFO), Airport Director, corporation officials, forest department officials, social welfare officials, NGO members, and other like-minded people.
“Many social activities keep happening around Coimbatore. So initially I wanted to connect all NGOs in the city so we could share information, exchange knowledge, post about volunteer requirements, event information, etc. Then I requested the then district collector Archana Patnaik to become a part of the group and she immediately accepted. The same happened with the current Corporation Commissioner. Later I started requesting industrialists, heads of education institutions, corporates, NGOs, etc. to join. People started pitching into the group automatically — sharing a lot of information that would help people of Coimbatore in some way or the other,” says Kishore, who also works in a corporate organisation.
Group members actively discuss various issues that can benefit citizens. Kishore clearly states that Namma Kovai is not meant for promoting any organization or sharing information about personal events. It deals with discussions on government issues, civic management problems, traffic complaints, etc.
One of the members once posted a picture of a horse that was hurt and was bleeding. The District Administration took immediate action, arranged for an ambulance, and the animal rescue team reached the spot in no time.
In another case, a public water-tap had been leaking for over three days. People didn’t know whom to contact and complain about it. Somebody in the area uploaded a picture of the tap and the concerned department officials took immediate action.
This way, hand-in-hand with government officials, Coimbatore residents are transforming the city using technology and a sense of responsibility.
Peopl can join the group by sending a message for the same to 8098520520.