Using Social Media to ‘Address’ Grievances

Mohammad Raafi



Soon after the PDP-BJP coalition government took over last year, a team led by soon-sworn-in political analyst in CM’s secretariat, Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, came up with an “out of box idea” of solving grievances using social media.

The cell “relentlessly” keeps on monitoring a number of social media networks to watch out for the grievances of the people.

Para, who is PDP’s youth president, said that the majority of the grievances are redressed “on the spot” and many others are referred to the departments concerned for the redressal.

The data provided by the cell claims that CM’s political analyst has made as many as 10500 phone calls since the coalition government was formed in the state. “The regular monitoring of social media networks has helped the cell to reach the grassroots,” Para said while he answers a message in social networking site, WtsApp.

In the beleaguered state of Jammu and Kashmir, former CM Omar Abdullah is the most followed person on Twitter with over a million followers. Of late, Omar joined Facebook as well. An avid blogger, Omar’s tweets find space in newspapers next day.

“We keep on surfing the SMN and when we spot a certain issue, its verified and sent to the concerned department,” he informs. “It is not like how many followers you have; the thing is whether you are able to solve issues concerning masses.”

The officials in the cell claim that as many as 1908 cases have been disposed-off. “We hand them felicitated letters addressed to the departments concerned.”

Since the day Para assumed charge at CM’s Grievance Cell at Church Lane here as ‘Political Analyst’, almost 2500 longhand applications have also been dispatched to the various departments.

“Online grievances apart, we analyse grievances in the daily newspapers and address them to the concerned departments,” Para says.

Sharing an instance, Para said that once someone posted an update which read that “he was in urgent need of blood, we immediately contacted him and resolved his issue”.

“These are minor issues,” he said proclaiming that it gives people a “sense of belongingness”.

As of now 6200 grievances have been picked up from the social networking sites. From these, 4200 have been from reported from Facebook and 2000 from WhatsApp.


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