Inclov, an inclusive matchmaking app2 min read . Updated: 03 Dec 2016, 12:49 AM IST
Inclov, which has been programmed by two part-time developers, is accessible to people with visual impairment through a screen reader and talkback application
Bengaluru: Surat-based Anu Multani waited almost eight years to discover the man of her dreams.
“She is a Miss Wheelchair runner’s-up and is a gold medallist in rifle shooting but she took so long to find someone," says Kalyani Khona, co-founder of Inclov, a matchmaking app for people with disabilities.
The story has a happy ending however, “Within ten days of her joining the app, we get a call from her saying that she met Imran on Inclov and would be tying the knot on 13 May," says Khona.
Yet, more often than not, love doesn’t come easily to the disabled.
According to the 2011 census, India is home to 26.8 million disabled people, “By my estimate nearly 70% do not have a life partner," says Kona, adding that most dating apps currently available are not accessible, inclusive or have a higher churn rate for people with disability.
Khona and her partner, Shankar Srinivasan, started Inclov—which stands for inclusive love—because, “we were quite disheartened by the existing services and products people with disability were painfully enduring to find their life partner," says Khona.
“I don’t think anyone deserves to be alone unless they want to."
Inclov was founded initially as a boutique matchmaking agency for the differently abled in 2014—it was called Wanted Umbrella back then.
Khona recalls being inundated with responses but she soon realized that an offline match making agency was not scalable. That was when she decided to go the app way.
“We created a mobile app that matched people on the basic of cure, level of independence, instruments used and lifestyle choices," she says, mentioning that Srinivasan joined her in 2015.
The Inclov app was launched on January 21 this year.
“Two part-time developers have programmed Inclov—one of them is visually impaired himself," she says. Incidentally, the app is fully accessible to people with visual impairment through a screen reader and talkback application.
A prototype of the app was crowd-funded on Wishberry; subsequently they received funding from “like minded investors who understand the business angle to a product like this better."
Users need to download the app from the Play Store and create an account which then goes through verification and review process. Once this is done, you can start connecting, says Khona, “It is a made to be very secure for all users," she says. “We curate profiles, there is a review process, mobile verification and in-chat feature so you don’t have to disclose personal contact details. We further ensure that no screenshots are taken on Inclov by disabling the feature."
And who are the people targeted by this app?
“Basically anyone—with or without any medical condition," she says. This does include people with physical and mental disabilities and other health disorders but even people without a disability can get on it.
“Inclov does not exclude anyone. It is an equal access platform for anyone wanting to look for a life partner," says Khona, who believes that the sexuality and needs of disabled people are currently being ignored by society.
“We are dealing with a blindfold. They can, should and deserve to experience everything you and I can. They just tend to do it differently but so does everyone else," she says.