Bangalore has some unusual ‘vote seekers’

April 21st, 2009 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

By Maitreyee Boruah
Bangalore, April 21 (IANS) A small band of volunteers has been knocking on the doors of residents in this IT hib of India with a simple request: “please vote in the Lok Sabha polls April 23″.

No, they are not seeking votes for themselves or for any particular party or candidate.

The volunteers just want all Bangalore voters to cast their ballot in this election because more than half of the city’s nearly six million voters did not bother to do so in the assembly elections in May last year.

The 40 volunteers have touched base with 60,000 households across Bangalore’s three constituencies since they began trudging some swanky and narrow roads of the tech hub a month ago.

With less than 48 hours for the polling booths to open in Bangalore South, Bangalore Central and Bangalore North constituencies, the volunteers say their campaign is on full steam.

“We’ve engaged around 40 volunteers across Bangalore, who have been going door to door, explaining to voters the importance of casting their votes,” chairman of Round Table India (RTI) Karnataka Chapter Naveen Pishe told IANS.

Under the campaign Let’s Vote, the volunteers have been visiting houses for a month now to persuade people to vote, he said.

Around 600 Bangaloreans participated in a walkathon Sunday organised by RTI to spread awareness and encourage people to vote.

RTI is a nationwide body of entrepreneurs and professionals.

“It is sad that Bangalore with a large scale educated population is apathetic when it comes to voting. We hope our initiative brings some changes and the number of voters casting their votes increases this time,” said Pishe, a city-based businessman.

Besides RTI, ‘Jaago Re (Wake up!) One Billion Votes’ campaign launched by Tata Tea, a Tata group company and Janaagraha, a Bangalore-based NGO, also have volunteers meeting Bangaloreans at educational institutions, parks, malls and other public places and urging them to vote.

“Around 1,000 volunteers of Jaago Re in Bangalore are having a hectic time these days. As a last minute effort volunteers are going to various places asking people to vote and vote for the right candidate,” Vandana Krishnan of Janaagraha told IANS.

“Our campaign has touched 1,00,000 voters in Bangalore, directly and through cyberspace. We’re hoping that the number of voters in Bangalore casting their votes will increase, compared to the assembly elections of 2008,” she said.

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