'Awaz Do' to Help Voters Voice Their Concerns This Polling Season

Published: 17th January 2016 03:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2016 03:49 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD:  The turnout of voters to exercise their franchise in the GHMC  elections has always been a matter of concern with just less than 50 pc stepping out to vote. In order to increase the voting percentage, government and private organisations are doing their bit to create awareness about importance of voting. The latest to join the cause are Awaz Do and some engineering colleges.

Awaz Do, a project launched on Friday by Pramanya Strategy, an international political research and strategy organisation, aims to make people set the election agenda instead of political parties. It provides an easily accessible platform that proactively involves the public in highlighting their community issues and outlining their local issues agenda for the upcoming GHMC elections.

“Our project uses social media and tele-calling solutions along with one-on-one interaction to motivate the public to exercise their right to vote while encouraging them to voice their concerns about the community they live in and about issues relevant and critical to them,” Hari Kasula, a US-based strategist and part of Awaz Do, said.

“This programme provides a repository of agenda items that people in general are expecting. Political parties can align their election manifesto accordingly. This will force political parties to discuss the issues that the public expect them to do,” Kasula added.

The project will run for the next three weeks, until the election day, with the goal of promoting higher voter turnout. The group has successfully done similar projects in the US elections engaging political parties and candidates in designing agenda accordingly.

A dedicated Twitter handle ‘@awazdohyd’ and a Facebook Page ‘@Awaz Do Hyderabad’ will be used for the campaign. Similarly, a dedicated IVR phone number 8471055557 will be made available for the public to call and leave their messages. They can also leave WhatsApp messages or give missed calls for the information collectors to call back.

STUDENTS’ ROLE in GHMC Polls

On receiving instructions from the SEC, several engineering colleges have come forward to create awareness about voting.

Students will be conducting meetings and organising processions and rallies to ensure that all eligible voters cast their vote.

“We received the instructions only just before the Sankranti holidays and are, therefore, yet to make a decision on the kind of awareness programmes we will be taking up. Mostly, we will ask students to conduct rallies in order to educate people in localities around our college. Our awareness programme will start later this week,” said K.Ravindra, principal of Malla Reddy Institute of Technology & Science.

“We are planning to conduct special classes for students to enable them to understand the importance of voting in GHMC elections.”

“This will help in two ways: local students will be motivated and cast their vote and others will talk to people and, by word of mouth, the message will reach the maximum number of people,” said a teacher at  Vardhaman College of Engineering.

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