A new initiative has been taken by Google Maps together with the government’s citizen engagement platform MyGov to provide information related to public food shelters and public night shelters across 30 cities in India. The company has been working with the government to provide the location of the relief centers to find essential services during the lockdown situation in the country.
Google in its statement said, “To date, across 30 cities, people can now find these locations on Google Maps, Search and Google Assistant. Users can search for ‘Food shelters in ‘ or ‘Night shelters in ‘ in any of these Google products. The service will also be made available in Hindi soon”
MyGovIndia shared the important piece of information with the public through its official Twitter handle. The Tweet read, “Public Food Shelters and Public Night Shelters can now be found on Google Maps, for 31 cities (more Shelters, Cities being added). Search on Google or Google Maps for “Food Shelter Near Me” or “Night Shelter Near Me” to find the closest shelter.”
In a country like India, those who need the services don’t possess a smartphone so Google will also provide the information to the Jio Phone users with the help of Google Assistant. However, it could have reached the other telecom operators running in the country such as Vodafone Idea and Airtel which could prove to be more beneficial to non-Jio users also. The company is also working to expand the experience to the people in other Indian languages. The search giant has also promised to add additional shelter details on its platform such as Google Maps, Google search as well as Google Assistant in more Indian cities.
According to Google India Senior Programme Manager, Anal Ghosh “Highlighting the locations of food and night shelters on Google Maps is a step to make this information easily available to the users in need, and ensure they can avail the food and shelter services being provided by the government authorities,”. He further added, “With the help of volunteers, NGOs, and traffic authorities, we hope to convey this important information to the affected people, many of whom may not have access to a smartphone or mobile device during this time.”
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