By Sonali Desai
A Tuesday in Belgaum means no work for the shopkeepers, some consider it a holiday, and few others close the shops in the afternoon and head back home to spend quality time with their family. But very few make time to follow their passion, and Uday Shankar Kinjawadekar is one among them. He recollects how he created the only website that incorporates all the important information on Belgaum- http://www.allaboutbelgaum.com. “It was pouring heavily on august 7th, 2007 and little did I know that my love for computers would one day help me create a website. I was bored and didn’t know what to do then I thought of starting a blog, that is when I created a blog for Belgaum. I feel good for helping Belgaumites settled outside connect to their hometown through my work,” quips Uday.
On the other side, you see him run the Bombay Dyeing shop on Ramdev Galli. He spends only 4 hours in a day on the website and still manages to give the website followers adequate information, and that too before any local newspaper in the city does.
When he started he only had 3 followers and within 7 days the website was saved in google search, and he got maximum hits from this search engine. Today his website is followed by more than 9500 people. The website is designed by Leading Minds who have managed to revamp the website, spacing it out for different categories of news and features.
“I am not a computer engineer, I hold a degree in BBA and all that I do on my website is just from my own learning. I love social networking and I have had people from Dubai, US and UK come and meet me personally whenever they come to Belgaum,” he adds.
He considers Belgaum a cosmopolitan city but argues that people in Belgaum are still biased when it comes to speaking in their mother tongue. “ If you look at the website I get maximum hits for news on border dispute,” he informs.
When asked what development means to him, he said, “People say that Belgaum has got CCD and a mall then that means we are developing but I don’t believe that having a mall is a development. In my opinion, any kind of development should be sustainable. Like, sometime ago we started a forum called ‘Belgaum next’, under which we did various surveys on the city. Our fight was against widening of roads where it’s not required, but it didn’t last long.”
Talking about his future plans, Uday said, “When I started I had no plans even today I have no big plans, just like the basic ‘nature of Belgaum’. I will continue working on the website; there is no hurrying, no greed to make money but to just provide news to those settled outside Belgaum and also people in Belgaum.”
Uday also credits his achievement to his two cute daughters Mahi and Urvi, his wife Deepti, and his parents who have been very supportive to have understood him, as he spends most of his time on the website.