Got queries on elections? Ask these youngsters

November 11th, 2008 - 11:35 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) “Say hello, speak English clearly, listen to people’s complaints, and communicate like Shah Rukh Khan!” Those are the instructions for a bunch of 30 girls and boys who are being trained to answer queries by voters ahead of the Delhi assembly polls Nov 29.They are being trained by senior poll officials to man a helpline at the main election office in Kashmere Gate as well as to meet voters who come there and to the various district election offices across the capital.

“Speak English clearly, aloud, improve your vocabulary and be polite while speaking,” a senior election official said to a dozen youngsters, mostly college students, at one such training session in the Delhi election office.

“You come and speak English near the podium. Say whatever you want to but speak loudly…open your mouth…start your conversion with a hello and, hi, end it with a thank you.

“Just watching Shah Rukh Khan will not help. Learn how he communicates with a smile. Practise it!”

Some time this week, the group members will start answering queries related to the elections, voter ID cards and, later, poll results. They will be present at the election offices on the polling day as well.

Rohit, a Delhi University student, who is among those taking training, told IANS: “They are grooming us well. It’s about developing the personality to handle serious matters like elections. I am enjoying it.”

The group of 30 has been hired by a private company, Netsol Projects Ltd, for the Delhi electoral office.

As part of their training, the youngsters are learning at least 23 types of answers to questions that voters could ask.

Rehearsed a girl: “Hi, how can I help you? Do you have any problem related to the election? Are you happy with your voter ID card? Don’t worry, electronic voting machines are easier to use…”

But the senior election official said: “No, No, you need to be more loud. You are ok…but read newspapers in the morning. Even if your family members get disturbed, so be it. You need to be more forthcoming,” says the official before asking another boy to start rehearsing.

“You are fumbling too much,” the official snapped.

With 10.7 million eligible voters, Delhi goes to the polls Nov 29 to elect a new 70-member assembly.

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