In an effort to decrease voter apathy and boost the voter turnout Mumbai is known for, citizen groups in the city have planned marches and protests to highlight the civic body’s inefficiency, thereby playing up the importance of voting.
On Saturday, a citizens’ group, My Dream Colaba, organised a ‘walkabout’ on Garden road in ward number 225 to protest against the persisting problems faced by residents.
“Local residents have been complaining about the accumulated debris and fallen branches of trees that have not been cleared. Senior citizens living in the area have also complained about a number of drug peddlers on the road,” said Ghanashyam Hegde, member of the group. Hegde added that the protest was also intended to make people realise that they need to exercise their right to vote in order to make their concerns heard.
My Dream Colaba has fielded Makarand Narwekar, a lawyer, as the citizen candidate from ward number 227 for the upcoming civic elections.
Khar Residents’ Association also announced that they would launch a voter awareness campaign on January 26. Anandini Thakoor, managing trustee of the association, said: “The campaign would involve a building-to-building march holding placards highlighting the major issues of the ward.”
“We realised a campaign is necessary because the voting percentage in our ward is relatively low,” added Thakoor.
Illustrating the purpose of carrying banners, Thakoor said they want candidates to know what residents expect from them. High school students, non-government organisations and Advanced Locality Managements from Khar have also been asked to partake in the march.