Annual examinations might have marred the spirit of Lok Sabha elections in government and aided colleges of Uttarakhand, but student groups have kept the buzz of polls alive.
Making use of social networking websites, free SMS, free call applications, student netas are sensitising college voters to vote. And if that’s not enough, they are visiting college every day with a target of communicating with at least 10 young voters asking them to cast vote.
Ashish Rawat, former president student union DAV (PG) College Dehradun told Hindustan Times, “It’s an important period for democracy and the future of Gen X. We have been sensitising young voters since December 2013. But, currently we have doubled our sensitization activities. We are fortunate to make use of IT tools and social networking sites through which we are communicating with young voters.”
The Facebook wall of young college netas is loaded with posts like “Guys plz vote”, “if you want change, plz vote”, “voting is our birth right, use the power” and others. Student union leaders have even loaded images of young voters (representation) showing a blue blot on their index finger which shows that they voted.
Akash Negi, a former student leader of Motilal Baburam government PG College, Haldwani (Nainital) shared in this regard, “Social networking websites and various applications on android phones are a boon for youngsters. Youngsters make optimum use of these IT phenomenon. We tried to connect to young voters through these tools. We have asked people to join our Facebook page.
Besides, we are also sending free chat messages on applications like Whatsapp, WeChat, ChatOn, Hike and others. We are not letting examinations hamper the spirit of elections.”
Some student netas have fixed a target to sensitise at least 10 students per day. Jogender Rawat, general secretary Aryan group shared, “Students are busy with exams. So instead of organising meetings for them, we are going to them. I am visiting college every day with the target of communicating with at least 10 students. I join hands and ask students to cast their precious vote. We do not support any candidate or political party. But, as a student group it’s our responsibility to sensitise young voters.”
Pertinently, student leaders from groups like Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Aryan, Pattu and others have strived to sensitise voters. These groups are also targeting first time voters. Some groups associated with political parties have plans to arrange transport facility to girls and first time voters this election season.