With GovInfo.me, a group of friends have simplified 1,200 govt schemes for the common manSirisha Damarla
GovInfo.me is an online repository of information on government schemes, rules, policies, jobs, scholarships. It not only brings together all the required data but also documents it in a way that is simple to understand.
From newborn infants to pregnant women, minors to retired people, disabled to backward classes — the government intends to help everyone with its many schemes and policies. While there are citizens who need government’s help, they are often unaware of its assistive schemes. To keep the public well-informed regarding government’s initiatives, Abhishek Dhote (33) started Government Information Made Easy or simply, GovInfo.me.
The story of GovInfo.me
When Abhishek’s daughter Tanmayi Dhote was born in December, 2015, he got to know of an initiative by the government — Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana — a small deposit scheme for meeting the education and marriage expenses of a girl child. Though it seemed like a good scheme to invest in, the lack of any relevant information made it difficult for Abhishek to register for it. He realised that, like him, there were many others in need of such information, and that made him want to do something to this end.
Abhishek made a start on his initiative, GovInfo.me, in his hometown Amravati, in Maharashtra, with the help of Vishal Yadav, Ram Sawai, Akshay Mahalle, Arpit Jajoo and Mayur Mahajan. Together they began researching on government schemes — popular and unpopular — that were available in the public domain. In spite of the government claiming that people could apply for everything online, the six friends found that not all the links available online were functional. Also, without any official government facility for seeking appropriate help, it was difficult to identify relevant schemes and find their details.
Abhishek and his team launched the website, GovInfo.me, in April, 2016. It documented the schemes, simplified procedures, with a step-by-step guide and other details regarding a particular scheme.
Now, GovInfo.me is an online repository of government information which includes schemes, rules, policies, jobs, scholarships, and news pertaining to ministries and governments (both central and state). It not only brings together all this information but also documents it in a way that is simple to understand. It explains what the scheme is about, the documents that are required, how and where to apply, and also provides assistance online and offline.
One of the cherished stories which Abhishek recalls is of a cancer patient who, with the assistance from GovInfo.me, was able to receive monthly financial aid and got treated under the government of Maharashtra. The patient was the primary breadwinner of his family and the help from the government was a much-needed respite.
The website now has information on more than 1,200 schemes available which include schemes of the central government and 29 state governments. Just by word of mouth, the website receives nearly 100,000 pageviews every month. People looking for jobs, students searching for scholarships, people in need of financial or any other form of help come to this platform for details on related schemes. If a certain scheme hasn’t been covered, the viewer can place a request — Abhishek and his team help them out in whatever way they can. They believe that by empowering the 1.2 billion Indian population with this information, they are making people independent and capable.
“With GovInfo.me, we are just doing our bit for the nation by bringing every Indian closer to the government,” says Abhishek. “This way people do not have to struggle to find the right sources for a certain government scheme, they do not need to ask for help from anyone else, and they can complete the procedure from wherever they are.”
Future as a business
Abhishek wishes to expand their website into a business that includes all the schemes available, in all Indian languages. He hopes that GovInfo.me can work with the government and make things a lot simpler for the common man.
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