RWAs to better Bengaluru’s poor voting percentage this polls

They will either treat the holiday as a vacation or refrain from participating. That is what we want to change.”
Representational image
Representational imageExpress Illustrations

BENGALURU: With elections just two weeks away, residential apartments in the city have ramped up their voter awareness campaigns, urging citizens to not miss the polling day and not plan a vacation during that period. With a vision to ensure that the voter percentage is 100 per cent this Lok Sabha polls, over 250 residential welfare associations (RWAs) have been working day in and out to help fellow residents with their queries and documentation.

Speaking to TNIE, Poornima Shetty, president of Rustam Bagh Association for Welfare and United RWA for Konena Agrahara who is spearheading the entire campaign said the idea is to make a difference in Bengaluru’s poor voting percentage without influencing their choices.

“Despite being an urban settlement and understanding the importance of exercising one’s right, many don’t take it seriously. They will either treat the holiday as a vacation or refrain from participating. That is what we want to change.”

She added that the group spread across different parts of the city has been engaging with their localities over in-person meet-ups in common spaces, temples, markets and events. The other engagement is through social media via Whatsapp groups and Twitter handles by sharing relevant posters and small clips.

Many have also gone the extra mile and made registration and corrections in voter IDs simpler for the residents. Having done this for the last two elections, LS polls 2019 and state assembly elections 2023, Poornima and the volunteers believe the “public mindset is slowly changing.”

With a unique approach, a group of RWAs in NGEF Layout in Nagarbhavi have been making use of the auto tippers that collect dry and wet waste in the mornings.

“We have used two methods, one is using garbage collectors to help spread the message to every home via small audio messages and the second is using Whatsapp groups. We have 10 mains and each has 10 crosses, which has individual groups and are coordinated by three leaders from every area,” said Datta Saraf, a 50-year-old volunteer.

Another volunteer, Ritika Bali from Mahadevapura Constituency said she receives over 600 queries regularly. “Residents also trust us as we have no hidden agenda and a personal connection always helps.”

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