‘Jaago re’ campaign wakes up voters

November 11th, 2008 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) For those eligible voters who are tired of paperwork or confused about the procedure for inclusion in the voters list, there is help at hand, courtsey the ‘Jaago Re - One Billion Votes’ campaign online.As many as 69,414 individuals have registered with the campaign and now can monitor their application status on its online portal (jaagore.com).

‘Jaago re…’ movement is a nationwide voter registration drive covering 35 cities.

“It stands for social awakening. The initiative was to awaken the youth to get the entire nation to vote. The campaign is based on a customer service model - it integrates technology with feasibility. The registration online is fairly simple and empowers people to take a step forward,” said Vikas Ratanji, outreach coordinator for the campaign in north India.

The ‘Jaago re’ (Wake Up) campaign was initiated three months ago by Tata Tea, a leading tea manufacturing company, and Janagraha, a Bangalore-based NGO working on urban governance.

TV commercials of the tea brand used lines like “Har subah sirf utho mat, jaago re” (Don’t just come out of the bed every morning, wake up), were a hit with youngsters, urging them to play an active role in dealing with issues of governance.

To register with the campaign, an individual has to fill up a two-page online registration form. At present the process still needs to be followed through by the individual, who will have to take the completed form to the indicated regional election office, to physically register and appear in the voters’ list.

“The response is great - and we are in talks with the Election Commission for a tie-up for collecting forms in bulk from those who registered in our outreach programmes in colleges and corporates,” Ratanji said.

The online portal, although in nascent stage, provides visitors guidance about their constituencies with interactive maps.

“Those with voter ID cards as well as first-time voters are guided as to how to get included in the list,” Ratanji added.

Although assembly elections in six states are scheduled in November and December, the campaign hopes to reach out to in as many eligible voters as possible in time for the general elections slated for early next year.

“We are also trying to put up links on who all will contest from where and what do they promise, so that voters are empowered to make an informed choice,” Ratanji, who himself registered on the site two months ago, added.

Delhi chief election officer Satbir Silas Bedi said she was happy to see a change in the voters’ mindset.

“We endorse the campaign - and are sure that the voter registration numbers will improve as a result,” Bedi averred.

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