One of the most significant problems associated with policy implementation is the fact that the public is usually not aware of those policies. Although governments implement tens of thousands of policies/schemes to assist the lower income group individuals every single year, they do not make the kind of impact that they are intended to. People obviously cannot take advantage of the various government policies/schemes if they are not aware of them.
This is a problem persistent throughout the globe however, it is especially significant in India due to its huge population as well as limited access to basic information and resources as compared to the Western world. Therefore, to make information related to various policies/schemes implemented by the Indian government accessible to the public, I came up with ‘Policy Mentor’.
Policy Mentor is a bot that informs the people of India about the various government policies/schemes that they can take advantage of. That includes grants, loans for entrepreneurs, maternity benefits, training programs, and scholarships. For example: if a student wants to find out what kind of government financial aid is available for her to continue her education, she can simply start a conversation with the bot on Facebook (specifically Messenger), Telegram, or on the web portal itself. After answering just a few basic questions, the student can find out which low-interest education loans, free coaching programs, and/or scholarships does she qualify for. Not only that but farmers can find out about agriculture credit programs, female scientists can explore government grants to help them continue their research, sanitation workers can discover reskilling programs, and villagers can take advantage of affordable housing programs.
The Man and Story Behind Policy Mentor
Founder of Policy Mentor
IBDP Student at Podar International School
Policy Mentor started in 2021 with a young, struggling domestic worker who has been been working at my family's residence for almost 12 years now. He is practically family to us. For over a decade, he was in severe financial strain because of high-interest rate loans he had taken many years ago to build his own house and start farming.
He was not aware of the various affordable housing schemes, agricultural subsidies, as well as low-interest rate loans the government had made available. And of course, no private bank was ready to lend him even a single penny, which is why he approached loans sharks. Not knowing better as to how he was being swindled out of money by those sharks, he made agreements to return loans with up to 20% of the principal amount as interest! With very limited attainment of education and no one to guide him, he could not have known better. Since, he is like a member of our family itself, my parents helped him out.
However, in a country of around 1.4 billion individuals, can you imagine how may more like him must be struggling because they are not aware of the various policies/schemes that the Government of India introduces? To make sure that the same does not happen to others, I started Policy Mentor. I hope that I can reach out to millions of Indians through this idea and help improve their lives.