The Congress is using the tried and tested success formula of marketing and advertising gurus -- target the children and the parents will follow.
In Bundelkhand region, the Congress party is organising a quiz on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) for school children. This, the partymen hope, would help the party reach the masses with the message of development.
To be held in eight blocks of Jhansi, the quiz programme would also be used to inform the children the salient points of the flagship development schemes of the central government headed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
On the curriculum of the school programme of the Congress are topics such as Right to Information Act, loan waiver scheme for farmers and other development schemes.
“We will begin holding the quiz for students of 9th to 12th in all the eight blocks of the district from May 21 (Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary) to select 16 students. A district level quiz will thereafter be organised on Rajiv Gandhi’s birthday on August 20,” said the District Congress Committee (DCC) Jhansi president Sudhansu Tripathi who has come out with the idea to widen the Congress reach in Bundelkhand.
“We will honour two winners of the quiz along with a village pradhan who may have performed best in the implementation of the MNREGA,” said Tripathi. “Quiz will have 25 questions with 20 focusing on MNREGA and remaining five on the Right to Information Act,” he said.
The Congress leaders hope to get political mileage out of the quiz programme with questions focusing on Rahul Gandhi’s role in the formulation and the implementation of the UPA government’s flagship schemes across the country,
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) President Rita Bahuguna Joshi said this was really a good idea as the children were the beast means to take any message to the masses. “Children influence decisions of their families. These children will show the way to the villagers on how to get jobs under the NREGA,” said Joshi.
Will the Congress take the MNREGA to the school textbooks after reaching out to schoolchildren in one of the most backward regions of the state. Tripathi said he would request the party leaders to take up the issue with the UPA government to get MNREGA included in the textbooks.
“This is a very good idea. We also need to educate people about the Right to Education and the proposed food security bill etc. I will take discuss it with the Union Minister for Rural Development CP Joshi and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” said Union Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya.