It has been more than a month since the pilgrim city of Nashik has seen a steady descent of humanity—eager devotees gathering for the Shahi Snaan; or tourists keen to observe the festivities and rites at the very famous Kumbh.
With an estimated 30 million people expected to visit Nashik Kumbh Mela. But will chaos continue to rein in with the steady flow and increase in number of devotees? If the hard work and effective use of technology by the back-end of the Kumbh Mela is any indication, this year’s Kumbh at Nashik will pioneer not only a safe and secure pilgrimage for the devotees, but also the lay the foundation for a smart city.
Guided by technocrats, start-ups and large corporates, the unit is actively using technology, especially mobile apps to ensure that this year’s Kumbh has a smooth run.
Let’s take a look at the popular apps that are being used for crowd management, patient monitoring, controlling epidemic, and sanitation.
Epimerises: It is a tool being used to control the spread of epidemics that are a usual problem at events where huge congregations are involved.
The app helps store patients’ data on a central server. The data is then analysed by experts to see if an epidemic is about to spread, and preventive actions such as stocking of medicines and informing hospitals can be taken in advance. The authorities can also learn the source of destination the sources of diseases of the patients through data analytics.
Med tracker: It is an app that contains information about hospitals, medical professionals and availability of beds.
In short, it is a fast aid and emergency health care app aiming to supplement emergency rescue operations. When one taps on the emergency button in the app, the nearest ambulance and medical crew find the person on the basis of his or her geographical location.
Overall, The app is like a 911 service which gives devotees and volunteers directions to the nearest hospital and medical store, but also has an alert button that sends a message to medical officers in case of a serious injury.
Additionally, many camps are using techniques being used involves checking saliva sample and oral health through sensors connected to mobile phones, and mobile devices that give ECG and blood pressure readings. There also are sensor-enabled mobile phones with cameras to help check lung health and eye infection.
Gappa Goshti (chitchat) GGTalk: A platform to upload images and send messages about incidents related to traffic, emergencies. It essentially follows the principles of WhatsApp and acts like in-house social platform to study the crowd mood and help authorities come out with various policy frameworks.
Based on observations made by the volunteers using the app, the local administration has now banned taking selfies during the Shahi Snans, when the crowd gathering reaches its peak.
3D Map: To supplement the official Kumbh app, the volunteers have created a 3D map of the city, particularly the Saadhu Graam area, which works offline without an Internet connection. It has been given to the volunteers.
Not only does it give you all the necessary spiritual information, including the meaning of Kumbh, but also practical information such as the routes of entry, parking and ghat locations. It also offers transport details and locates nearby ATM machines.
Crowd Steering: A real-time people-counting system. Another app named foot mat can count footsteps. It can be placed anywhere and can help in sensing crowd movement, thus preventing stampedes.
It is a real-time system that not only shows the density distribution of a large crowd but also tracks its flow, allowing people to be redirected away from saturated areas.
Pop-up Housing: A new-age modular low-cost housing solution for needs in pop-up cities.
Annadan: A platform for making provisions for donated food. It is an innovative supply chain that diverts food donated to temples to those who are hungry, thus reducing food wastage.
Milaap: It is a mobile and Web server-based app that serves as a lost and found platform.
The app enables volunteers at government-run booths to share real time data on missing persons and save precious time. It can also be used for crowd management, epidemic outbreak prevention and mapping Nashik.
“About 300 volunteers and officials from the fire brigade, police and ambulance are wearing wearable devices containing a watch mode. With the help of devices that talk to the mobile app, one can send SOS messages during emergency to people configured on the app,” says Sandip Shinde, co-founder & CEO, Kumbha Foundation.
So far, there have been no missing complaints reported, and hope this Kumbh reunites the missing brothers and sisters separated in the earlier melas!!!