The city of Dhaka with its ever increasing population and extending city boundary sometimes makes its inhabitants a bit confused: where is what? Who is doing what here? What for? But that fanatic feeling evaporates faster than it occurs to some of us. Living in this concrete jungle full of life and memoirs; it is not easy. Some of us are here for years, some for decades and some for a lifetime! Others are here for treatment, education, employment, visiting friends or family and some are here to live. Most of the dwellers of Dhaka have somehow already figured out how to live in this city. People find their way around; they solve everyday problems with real time solutions. Slowly they are becoming smart (using smart phones!) and learn to incorporate technology as a means for collaboration and cooperation among themselves.
Safe & Convenient Transport:
The public transport facilities in Dhaka are not adequate. If you don’t have your own transport means it is hard to get around with the existing limited public transportation. However, life has become much easier now with some local apps like Pathao, Motto, Cholo and international services like UBER to navigate in the city! These apps have both car and motorcycle options. Though they are still expensive for the masses, they are increasing and competing with each other which eventually will reduce prices.
Introducing e-commerce for start-ups up to long established businesses is also helping a lot. Artists are getting orders online for their artworks, event planners approve event plans and many university students are working as delivery man on behalf of them and earning a good amount to help their education which was unthinkable five years ago. Almost all established shops like Aarong, Key kraft, Textmart, Uniqlo have online platforms and some third party sites like Pikaboo, Rokomari, Chaldal are acting as a gateway to showcase home delivery service products others are offering.
Bangladesh became a model for mobile banking service among developing countries that do not have online banking facilities. Nowadays, most banks have mobile banking options. People working in informal sectors can easily do their transactions using these mobile banking. Buying tickets for buses, trains and other services have mobile banking options too.
There are a number of mobile apps helping guardians and their kids in many ways. Some schools in Dhaka are using educational apps like “Class Tune” and “Google Classroom” to maintain communication between teachers and parents to monitor their children’s progress in school. The teachers send notice, update exam routine and result and keep student attendance by this miracle interface. Parents can directly check for homework, if it has been submitted or not and get daily updates about the child’s performance.
Mapping has not been so much fun before. Adding missing places on a map, using applications like mapillary, glympse, where have I been (WHIB) and google map tremendously improve urban design and research for cities. Finding any destination and alternative route plan with real-time traffic updates in a crowded city like Dhaka is helping the urban dwellers a great deal.
In Dhaka, you cannot find a lot of entertainment options specially for the low income inhabitants. They use their multimedia smartphones as their entertainment device. The people working in the ready-made garments and knitwear factories, they need to leave their phone outside during work. Often they leave their phones at local stores which have computers and the shopkeepers copy and updated songs, movies into their devices. While going back home, they collect their phones, with new music, but they need to pay based on the song and movie numbers.
Therefore, technology is allowing this city to create many small but interesting progress stories which are eventually contributing to the cumulative growth. This is our story, how about yours?
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Picture rights all reserved by: Sultan Mahmud