The Aam Aadmi Party’s well-oiled social media and public outreach engine paid off again, with thousands of parents walking into Delhi government schools on Saturday to meet their children’s teachers.
The AAP’s door-to-door campaigns, personalised text messages and radio advertisements over the past month prompted the heavy turnout.
“Parents, teachers, kids - all happy,” Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted as he shared a YouTube video of education minister “Manish Sisodia in action” during the parent-teacher meeting initiative.
With the party active on Twitter and Facebook, a week before the event the minister started sharing preparation details with pictures from different schools and retweeting stories around it.
The hash tag that trended on Saturday #MegaPTMinDelhi was started by the government.
The Delhi government used school management committees (SMCs) to engineer success. An SMC comprises the school principal, a teacher, the local MLA, a social worker and 12 parents. Every school has an SMC and MLAs usually send their representative, as there are more than 15 schools in every constituency.
“The SMCs went to the house of every child and convinced the parents to join (the PTMs),” an official said. “Parents going to convince other parents helped us a lot,” the official added.
Radio advertisements, too, worked well. “I never got any invitation. Last week, when I had gone to my neighbour’s house, I heard about the PTM on the FM (radio),” said Mona, a parent at a government school in Sunder Nagri.
The AAP would also hope to leverage the PTM outreach on social media for subtle political mileage. The next target in the party’s crosshairs is the Punjab assembly election. The party has already put in place a large team of core members who are training volunteers in each constituency of Punjab, according to a report.