BENGALURU : This Saturday, an initiative to involve more citizens in the upcoming parliamentary elections will be launched in the city. Called ‘BoB – BAGs of Bengaluru’, the programme stands for Booth Level Awareness Group and will seek to create several groups of volunteers across the city who will work with the Election Commission to increase awareness about the importance of voting, help with voter registration drives and carry out other campaigns.
Organised with the help of several civic groups working with the Election Commission, the initiative will see a soft launch on Saturday where officials from the BBMP and the Election Commission will address the first group of volunteers at a meeting at the KRG Hall in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at 5pm.
“We are working on a website where volunteers will be able to register themselves for the initiative. This website is in the final testing stages and will be launched within a few weeks. Once live, we can onboard volunteers,” said Suryasen AV, joint Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka.
Speaking to CE, the official said that the weekend workshop was largely for volunteers and that the project would be launched at a later date with the approval of the Election Commission. According to Raghavendra HS, a member of the Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.PAC), who is co-ordinating the project, the volunteers will be called on to take part in various campaigns. “This group will have no political affiliations unlike booth level workers who are deployed by political parties. These volunteers will help register voters and carry out awareness campaigns.”
The BAGs have to be a registered voter of their respective booth. Voters of respective booth, Anganwadi workers, teachers, staff of the postal department, government functionaries, para workers, representative of school/colleges in the booth area, NSS/NCC volunteers, senior citizens, concerned citizens and member representatives of local CSO/NGO are eligible to become BAGs.
“I will definitely volunteer in our area, I know of several people who have been trying to get their names added to the voter registration rolls and have been unsuccessful so far. It would be great if we were given the know how to increase the number of voters,” said Abhay C, a resident of Kengeri.