With the city recording abysmal voter turnouts in previous civic elections, citizen groups across the city have planned several initiatives on February 16, the day of the polls, to ensure Mumbaiites cast their vote.
Citizens groups and residents associations will make calls, send messages and take rounds of civic wards. To help voters make an informed choice, citizen groups from some wards will give residents a comparative study of various candidates in the ward.
In Bandra and Khar, students of St Andrew’s and Rizvi college have distributed candidates’ comparative statements in more than 500 housing societies.
The Khar Residents’ Association (KRA) has made travel arrangements for senior citizens and the differently-abled. “We have deployed eight cars for them. We have also set up a help line number for citizens,” said Anandini Thakoor, managing trustee, KRA.
James John, coordinator for Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI), has been reaching out to educated voters. “We have extensively used social media. Citizens talk a lot about civic amenities and politics in the civic body, but need to get down to voting,” he said.
In Juhu, the Citizens’ Forum Ward Number 62 launched the iVote campaign to create awareness. “We have sent out pamphlets and put up banners saying ‘Ink your future. i care i vote’,” said Prashant Mavani, convenor.
Some housing societies are also setting up kiosks to address polling booth queries.
In D-ward, which includes Mahalaxmi, Opera House and Harkishandas Hospital residents association have distributed a voters slip, so that people can vote hassle free.
In Chembur, the advance locality management and networking action committee (ALMNAC) is distributing pamphlets with several civic concerns and comparative statements in the ward.