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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: At a time when lockdown has brought hardship for people especially those living in rural areas, a 3rd year engineering student in Odisha has developed a mobile app through which doorstep delivery of essential products can be done with ease in semi-urban and rural areas.

Girish Vaisyaraj, a student of Electronics and Telecommunications at National Institute of Technology, Rourkela took 22 days to develop the mobile app and the idea came to his mind after knowing about the difficulties that people faced with no access to essentials amid the COVID-19 lockdown in his hometown Koraput.

In an exclusive interview to Odishatv.in, Girish, who does research work in the field of artificial intelligence spoke on how he built the e-commerce App "GoGrocy" to provide essentials to people in small towns.

"The idea came to my mind a few days before lockdown was declared by our prime minister. In such times, the worst sufferers are people staying in small towns like Jeypore and Sunabeda where there is either no access or limited access to essentials. So, I decided to start providing home delivery service of essentials by initially contacting some local vendors who agreed to collaborate," said Girish.

While it took 22 days to develop the app, he started to deliver goods by taking orders on WhatsApp from March 26. Girish himself started delivering goods to people and later appointed one person who assisted him.

"Many local residents in Jeypore started to place orders through WhatsApp. There are elderly people whose children are staying in foreign countries. Such people need assistance, so, I have added medicines apart from groceries in the item list that can be ordered through the app. However, for medicines, prescription is mandatory," said Girish.

Girish said, in future he is planning to collaborate with companies so that more products can be added to the list of deliverables so that the app becomes one-stop destination to get all products.

"The core idea is to provide digital space in semi-urban and rural areas and generate employment opportunity for the youth especially in places like Koraput," added Girish.

Though, there were challenges initially in getting permission to go to places for delivery, now things have become much better, he says.

Girish is currently working on a few other projects related to tackling COVID-19 and on artificial intelligence which may turn out to be groundbreaking.

Recently, Bhrugu Baxipatra, State general secretary of Odisha BJP took to Twitter and praised Girish for his achievement.

"Kudos to V Girish, a pre-final year student of NIT Rourkela, who has built an E-commerce App #GoGrocy to provide groceries to people in small towns. He himself is delivering the essentials in #Jeypore by following #SocialDistancing norms & wearing masks," Baxipatra tweeted.

Speaking about the app, a user Binay Kumar Pattnaik said, "It's a great initiative. The app is friendly and easy to navigate. Please support these young guys and I suggest you guys please use this app and stay home stay safe in this lockdown."

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