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Meeting 9 - Talk by Selvam Velmurugan

posted Aug 28, 2010, 9:25 PM by Prashanth Mohan

Presenter - Selvam Velmurugan, founder of emoksha (, worked as a software developer with Amazon.

Attendees: Aditya, Achintya, Chandrayee, Yasaswini, Rishikesh, Sreeram skyped in, Tanusree, Gireeja, some non members. (Notes by Chandrayee)

Goal of talk - to find folks who might want to develop “Kiirti” ( for better voice access, regional language transcription, spread words through networks. Talk started with introduction to fixourcity (http://, a website created for crowd sourcing in chennai, with a target to smoothen the tedious and cumbersome process of registering complaints with local municipalities, while there is no guarantee of remedy. It uses a web based platform from UK, configured for Chennai.

  • NGO takes ownership of complaints and track down to get it solved. Also meant to be used as a forum and share best practices Chennai corporation has an online complaint management system mainly internal workflow. It is not user friendly, no way to attach images, forms are long and demotivating. 
  • With initial ads in newspaper many users were using the site initially, but now the use has plummeted. Technology is an enabler but needs to reach out to people, people’s behavior in acceptance plays a major role. 
  • Increased voice access can help senior citizens communicate better. They are more enthusiastic. 
  • Kiirti is based on Ushahidi ( “Ushahidi, which means "testimony" in Swahili, is a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008”. 
  • It provides a pre packaged solution to the NGOs with voice based reporting option in 6 different languages, frontline sms, voice based menu - IITKanpur. 
  • Mechanical turk from Amazon used for transcribing 
  • MOU with Karnataka state transportation authority - They will use Kiirti as official channel. 
  • Kiirti Beta version available, used so far for environment support group in Bangalore - for campaign management and Sahana - disaster management, Janagraha, 5th Pillar are powered use Kiirti platform 
  • Cost of running Kiirti - web server, db server, $100 a month
  • Future plans: More accessible to people through micro social network for one site, Facebook page, complete voice access, business plans like target top 25 corrupted countries where government might be interested in investing such a platform for better crime management 
  • Scope of contribution: Development of the platform, popularizing, business plans, future statistical analysis of data obtained from sites. Contact: selvam [at] emoksha REMOVETHIS [dot] org