SMALL BAG- E token system, Easy management to ensure physical distancing

Hi All,

I was out for grocery shopping last week and experienced queues and waiting periods. Luckily, I had a meeting with ISRC members on Saturday, in which I learned about the excellent app developed by the Bhaskaran Raman (IITB), KV Subrahmanyam (CMI).

SMALL BAG: Shopping Management App for LocaL Buyers And Grocers

This is an initiative with ISRC (Indian Scientists’ Response to CoViD-19).

I thought to share the information about this excellent token system right away and this should not wait till Sunday post schedule.

Key features

  • Customers wait less in-front of shops
  • Physical distancing can be achieved without hassle
  • Live token status can be monitored
  • Easy Set up and Use.

Workflow for SMS Based E-Tokens

  • Customer sends SMS
  • Gets E-Token via SMS
  • Checks live status (updated by the vendor)

Workflow for Email Based E-Tokens

  • Prep-step: SMALL-BAG team creates the necessary google-docs for a vendor (1 customer form, 1 spreadsheet)
  • Vendor advertises customer form URL (paste in front of the shop)
  • The customer fills the form, gets an automated email with:
    • Auto-generated E-Token
    • URL for online checking of current token status
  • When a token is about to come, the customer goes to the shop
  • Vendor updates current e-token number on smart-phone, after serving each e-token
  • The vendor can also give ‘photo’ tokens, or paper (discouraged)
    • For those who come to shop without a smart-phone
    • Note: even feature phones have a camera for a photo-taking.

Workflow for Online Ordering

  • Prep-step: SMALL-BAG team creates the necessary google-docs for a vendor (1 customer form, 2 spreadsheets)
  • Actual Usage
  • Vendor advertises customer form URL
    • Optionally, fills spreadsheet with partial product availability info
  • The customer fills google form to place order
  • Vendor sees order spreadsheet, packs order
  • Vendor marks the order as ‘ready’ on the same spreadsheet
  • The customer gets an email saying ‘order ready’, picks up the order


  • App/system: always free, open-source
  • Set-up support from IITB: free now
  • Rs. 0.20 per SMS for the SMS-based E-Token system

Contact: 7208588199,

Prof. Bhaskaran Raman, Dept. of CSE, IIT Bombay.

The entire community crowding can be avoided by using this simple step!

We need to help each other to ensure the safety of society.  Can we help our local vendor setting this up to ensure the easy flow?

Take an initiative to ensure we take the utmost care in a scenario where everybody is saying that, the disease is going to stay with us for some period.

Share the information to your contacts if they experience queues and want solution for the problem.

Follow the blog for yet another interesting story!

Stay home Stay Safe!


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