In a nation-wide campaign to get voters to polling booths, the Election Commission of India has partnered with radio channel Red FM. The campaign titled ‘Button Dabate Raho, Red FM Bajate Raho’ is taking place through Red FM’s 40 radio stations that are spread across 15 states.
In namma Bengaluru, RJ Disha Oberoi who hosts the morning show at Red FM, between 7 and 11 am, has been appointed as the Election Ambassador for Youth, Karnataka.
Disha hopes that through the campaign, that’s been running since the beginning of last week, she can help motivate the 72 to 73 lakh voters in the city. “It’s mainly about spreading awareness. We like to act as a forum that will help listeners come in and air their queries and problems, and we put them in touch with people who will help them address the same. For example, a girl from Indiranagar who is new in town didn’t know where she could get her name on the voter's list. Another listener came forward and helped her do exactly that. So we’re basically connecting people, hoping to create the biggest turnout the city has seen to date,” she says.
Akshay Rout, the Director General of Election Commission of India was featured on the show recently. He educated the listeners about the electoral process and answered various queries as well. Disha also interviewed India’s oldest voter (97!) as part of the campaign. “He narrated stories of how the election process was very different back in the day. We also have callers telling us that their relatives, who live abroad are especially coming down from countries like the US, just to vote,” she says. They are also featuring special groups or individuals, who are doing their bit to motivate people to vote. So they have featured groups like a car service that is giving away free cab rides on election day to voters, or an NGO that’s helping handicapped voters to come ahead and cast their vote.
For Disha, the journey has been nothing short of transformative. “It’s been informative as well as a whole lot of fun. I don’t think I’ve had to work so hard even for my Board exams. A lot of research and effort has gone into putting this show together. I have come out feeling empowered and it has been a great experience,” she says.
The campaign will run till April 18.