BENGALURU: At 5 pm, all district-wise voting percentages — Bangalore Central, Urban, South and North — were hovering between 47% and 49%, but in Prestige Shantiniketan apartments, a township in Whitefield, the turnout was 73% among its 2,000 voters, all thanks not to the adults, but the children.
Appalled by the dismal 15% voter turnout in the previous elections, a 35-year-old techie Mithun started the PSN Voter Challenge, where around 40 children signed up for it. They were up from 6 am till 6 pm to make sure adults got out and voted. “We had arranged four minivans to ferry residents from Outer Ring Road to the polling booth in Hoodi,” Mithun said.
“Children from past one month have been handed out scripts on what to tell adults when they question why voting is important. They have been given names, polling booth names, numbers etc, and we have figured out those who did not turn up in spite of saying that they would. We literally got every single person who was available to vote,” he said.
The children went back to those houses, knocked on their doors and asked them if they need transport or any other assistance to vote. Thirteen-year-old Akshath Nair’s team with two other boys managed to get 210 adults to vote. “From 15% last time, we managed to make the voter turnout to 73%,” Akshath said. Sohan Varrier and Siddharth Pathak are two of his teammates.