Brac yesterday signed a deal to invest in a mobile application -- Maya Apa -- to ensure the delivery of quality information and counselling services to a greater number of people.
At a ceremony at Hotel La Vinci in Dhaka, Muhammad Musa, executive director of Brac, signed the agreement with Ivy H Russell, founder of Maya Apa, to invest Tk 4 crore in the app in the next couple of years.
State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim was also present.
Through this initiative, Brac's urban development programme will implement a pilot project where Maya Apa app will be used to give services to 50,000 female garment workers, they said.
Maya Apa is a virtual platform that can be accessed by anyone anonymously at any time for counselling and answers to questions on daily life, including health, psychosocial and legal matters.
Once a question is asked, it is redirected to relevant experts and answers are given within three hours. The app was launched in February 2015 and around 1.5 lakh queries were received and answered. Currently, 10,000 users access it a day.
The minister said she is excited about such a service and has urged the investors and entrepreneurs to undertake a massive campaign. “It could be an effective tool to change the society and every mobile user in the country should use this service,” said Tarana.
Musa of Brac said they were interested in investing in this project, as it could act as a tool in analysing socioeconomic impacts. They are working with 50,000 women under the pilot phase, with plans to reach 40 lakh garment workers eventually, he added.
Asif Saleh, senior director of strategy, communication and empowerment at Brac, said 60 percent of all the users of Maya Apa are women, and the service is available through any android-based smartphone, web or SMS.