Google India has ramped up COVID-19 efforts to help bring reliable information to people, and locate night shelters in their cities. The search engine has teamed up with the Government of India to launch a feature that can help people find food and night shelters. The feature is available on all smartphones as well as KaiOS devices, and is also available in Hindi. Also Read - Google shares new video highlighting people helping each other during Coronavirus lockdown
Google notes that this new feature will be accessible through Google Maps, Search, and Google Assistant. So it doesn’t matter if you have an Android smartphone or iOS. The company said it has started indicating the locations of hundreds of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country. Also Read - TikTok crosses 1 billion downloads on Google Play Store
Furthermore, Google India has also introduced a helpline number. This helpline number is for feature phones essentially because it lets 2G users to simply call on a number to access Google Assistant. Also Read - Google Doodle thanks grocery workers in a series to honor frontline workers fighting COVID-19
This feature is currently live in 30+ cities. We’re working towards adding more locations, and will shortly roll this feature out in Hindi and other languages. pic.twitter.com/oGm9xeDvcA
— Google India (@GoogleIndia) April 6, 2020
At present, Vodafone and Idea customers who are on 2G and feature phones can simply dial the helpline number 000-800-919-1000 and can ask about food shelters and night shelters in their cities. This facility is available in English as well as in Hindi. Google is providing this facility in 33 cities in the country. People can also find food and night shelters in places such as Delhi, Aligarh and Bhagalpur.
“To date, this includes more than 33 cities with over 1,500 food and night shelters identified. Users can query in both English and Hindi, and efforts are on to bring this to other Indian languages over the coming weeks, as well as adding additional shelters in more cities across the country,” said Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Payments and Next Billion Users at Google.
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Last week, Google had launched the COVID-19 India website. It is available in English, Hindi and Marathi for smartphones, and in English and Hindi via Google Assistant for KaiOS feature phones. It will be rolled out in several other Indian languages soon.