Even though the celebration of Dasara is steeped in traditions, the latest digital tools are being used to promote the festival among the tech-savvy.
After starting to send updates directly to the Dasara enthusiasts on their mobile via WhatsApp Messenger service, the Mysore district administration has unveiled the official Dasara mobile application for Android phones. The app will provide not information on events during the ten-day celebrations, as well as information about major tourist places in the city. A list of helpline numbers with ‘Click to Call’ feature will be present.
Deputy Commissioner of Mysore C. Shikha, who is driving the promotion of Dasara through digital tools, said the mobile app ‘Mysore Dasara 2014’ will soon be available on Google Play Store for free downloading. The app will also be available to download from www.mysoredasara.gov. in/dasara.apk
So far, more than 5,700 mobile users have subscribed for Dasara updates on WhatsApp, she said. The Facebook page of Dasara 2014, which is updated regularly, received more than 16,800 likes till Sunday. The authorities expect more Dasara enthusiasts to embrace their digital drive as the festivities draw closer.
“We have an exclusive team dedicated to sending updates and answering queries from the public,” said Ms. Shikha. Like last year, the Dasara procession will be webcast live.
The launch of mobile app, which also has a dedicated section for latest Dasara news and updates, comes close on the heels of the launch of an improved device-friendly Dasara 2014 website. The website invites members of the public to upload pictures they have clicked of Mysore Dasara. It also provides contact numbers of vehicle breakdown services of different manufacturers, besides listing restaurants, hotels and resorts.
C. Kantharaj, who heads Dot Angle, the company that designed the Dasara 2014 website, said they receive many inquiries on the site. “Most queries pertain to event details, timings and performers. We also receive inquiries on tickets,” he said. Questions posted on the Facebook page and on Twitter will also be answered.
Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Public Relations, Mysore, is also promoting Dasara on its Facebook page.
“A photograph of Dasara elephants rehearsing for the Jamboo Savari got several likes,” said Prakash, Deputy Director of Information and Public Relations, Mysore.