As the world’s largest democracy continues to gasp for breath amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases and restricted availability of resources and infrastructure, citizens of the country are coming through for each other. Netizens are going all out to volunteer help for COVID-hit families. This requires volunteers to call up hundreds of random numbers every day to verify sources and check availability. This means their numbers are shared with dozens of strangers daily.
Unfortunately, even at a time like this, there are special kinds of monsters out there who use these desperate times as opportunities to scam people, make money, or worse, harass. But the work must go on.
Here’s a doosra (second) option.
An online service called Doosra lets you generate a secondary mobile number. Instead of giving out your personal number everywhere, you can share this secondary number for texts or voice calls. It also allows callers to leave you a voicemail.
All you need for Doosra to work is an Indian mobile number. You will not need to get an extra SIM or eSIM for this to work.
Doosra is a paid service and was launched late last year.
How does Doosra work?
Doosra blocks all calls by default. All text messages sent to this secondary number are stored within the app. However, users can always add a “trusted number” to whitelist the contact, and their calls will come through. The other way to somewhat whitelist calls is to turn off the cell block for 60 minutes. In that one hour, all calls on that secondary number will come through and will not be blocked by default.
The Doosra app uses your phone number and your location to route your calls.
In a situation where you have to call someone, but you don’t want to use your primary number for it, Doosra offers a limit of 100 minutes (every month), wherein it routes calls through an intermediate cloud telephony system. Others can also call you back on this secondary number.
Doosra subscription packs
Doosra offers two subscription packages. There is an Essential pack, which costs Rs 59 per month (Rs 699 annually), which offers unlimited voicemails, premium and VIP number options, 100 minutes of call back every month, and the ability to add 10 contacts to the ‘Trusted’ list.
The other is the Pro package, which costs Rs 83 per month (Rs 999 annually). In addition to everything the Essential package offers, this also allows multi-user login (up to five devices). It lets users turn off the call block indefinitely (instead of the 60 minutes limit on the Essential pack), supports WhatsApp and Telegram, and has no limit to trusted contacts.
How to get started with Doosra
Head to Doosra.com, and choose from the subscription plan that you want. Enter your phone number (which will be used for authentication); you will then receive an OTP, feed that in. A secondary number will automatically be generated. You can either continue with that number or choose to pick from custom or VIP numbers, for which you will have to pay an additional fee ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 5,000.
Once you have decided on the secondary number, put in your name, email address and create a password. You will then be taken to a payment gateway to pay your subscription fees, and you are done. You can then download the Doosra app on your phone (available on Android and iOS) and start giving out your new doosra number.