Take a 'social cause' picture on your phone, earn rewards!

Take a 'social cause' picture on your phone, earn rewards!

Take a 'social cause' picture on your phone, earn rewards!

Unique mobile app, iPunch gets youth excited about solving issues .Getting youngsters hooked to social change beyond a point might be a tough task.

But make them take photographs related to social/ civic issues on their smart phones and let such crowd-sourced pictures do the talking on social media. Offer rewards, and you could get them hugely excited. This is precisely what drives iPunch, a mobile app designed by Bangalore-based collective and a campaign built around it.

The mobile phone photographs document a range of issues from public safety to corruption, women’s empower­ment to environmental conservation. Illustrating the power of this process, a recent mobile photography workshop at the Centre for Management Studies here had 30 students visually capture common law violations on road and transport issues, and discuss them at length in a deeply engaging manner.

Here’s how this unique mix of photography and social causes inspired a workshop participant, H S Anitha: “It was for the first time that we were made to think about photography and social causes together, I am now looking forward to using my new mobile photography skills for social good.”

Playful yet serious

Anyone with a camera-equipped smartphone could dive into the iPunch space, conceptualised by Rajesh Chowdhary from Action Gunners. Simply download the app from the Android Play store, and start clicking. It could be the potholes blocking your smooth ride back home or the stinking garbage choking your breath.

Your photographs about a hundred such issues, posted on the internet through the app could now let your voice be heard and talked about.

The objective of this project, as app partner, Vijay D Pamarathi explained, is “to drive a behavioural change among young people. If they see content they start empathising. It has been designed as a game, to be playful but with a serious intent. Everytime they take a picture, they get points which could be redeemed in different outlets.”

To boost the project’s popularity and trigger real action powered by the youth, the iPunch people are now building partnerships with various civil society groups.

 Corporate houses with a social responsibility agenda are also being roped in, to offer rewards in exchange for the points. A leading coffee chain is already on board, sponsoring gift vouchers, informed Pamarathi.