Misra launches ChangeIndia, Google, Yahoo and AOL chip in

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | March 04, 2008
Lead India winner RK Misra has launched ChangeIndia.in to build an online community of individuals who want to work for social causes

RK & #BANNER1 & # Misra, the winner of The Times of India's Lead India contest, has launched his website, www.ChangeIndia.in. Misra shared his plans for the website with agencyfaqs!

The website is an extension of the Change India movement led by Misra, which aims to build a community of individuals who want to do something for society or undertake a project for the benefit of the nation. The site is building an online community for the purpose. Only people who are serious about a cause or already doing a project for a social cause will be allowed to join the site.

According to Misra, "The website will help us reach people who have access to the Internet and mobile, are frustrated with the current democratic system and live in the urban and semi-urban parts of India."

ChangeIndia.in Homepage
Currently, the site is available in five Indian languages besides English - Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil. OneIndia.in is helping the site to make the content available in regional languages. It has sections such as Discuss and Project, which allow registered members to discuss social or political related issues and submit their plans for any development activity they wish to undertake. In the future, the site will allow members to create their own email IDs and personal pages, which will be more like blogs where they can write about social and political issues.

"Unlike regular networking sites such as Orkut and Facebook, the members will not be allowed to create their own networks within the site; rather, the site will become a network of its own," says Misra.

The website will help in getting people together and raising awareness about social and political issues. The real implementation of projects will be taken care of by offline teams. Each city will have a council represented by a team of 10-12 influential members, which will help other members carry out their projects.

Currently, the movement has created councils in two cities, Bangalore and Delhi. Councils will be formed in six other cities, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Lucknow, by the end of April.

Misra says, "Change India is an independent movement and there is no tie-up with The Times of India Group."

Internet giants such as Yahoo!, Google and AOL are supporting the movement. According to Misra, "Yahoo! has partnered with us to provide site hosting services. Google is giving us email creation support and AOL will help us spread the word about the movement through mobile - it will send alerts to its network of five million members."

Influential social and business leaders such as NR Narayana Murthy, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Prakash Padukone and Arun Kejriwal have joined the movement. They will be guiding members and write on the website as mentors in their respective fields. For example, Murthy will help members on corporate issues, while Kejriwal will help them on right to information issues.

Misra says, "There is no concept of monetisation in the Change India movement and the organisation's costs will be covered by donations from corporates." The website will be promoted through press conferences, events and hoardings. There are plans for online marketing as well.

Around 10,000 members have already joined the Change India movement (figures for the website have not been disclosed) and it is targeting 10 million members by the end of 2009.