At least 150 citizens have applied for the new posts of area volunteers for the second edition of the Meter Jam campaign boycotting autos and taxis because they refuse to ferry people. It will be held on October 12.
Campaign organisers Abhilash Krishnan, Jaidev Rupani and Rachana Brar have decided to create area volunteers in a bid to expand the offline base of their protest.
The previous edition of Meter Jam, held on August 12, was largely a Facebook campaign, but this time area volunteers will have to spread awareness among the general public at ground level.
“I am one of those people who is refused by at least three autos every day, so I have applied as an area volunteer to do my bit for the cause,” said Shruti Kapoor (20), who travels to her Santacruz college by auto from Vile Parle (East). “If more people participate collectively, we can bring about a change.”
Though they are still to decide the exact number of volunteers required, organisers will interview applicants before selecting a handful.
“We want people who are passionate, good with marketing and will stick to the disciplined Meter Jam code of conduct,” said Rupani, one of the three advertising professionals behind the campaign.
The first edition of the Meter Jam campaign drew at least 40,000 online followers frustrated by taxi and auto drivers refusing fares.
Although the boycott of cabs and autos was not a runaway success on the streets, the organisers succeeded in meeting Home Minister R.R. Patil and getting the State Transport department to take action against errant drivers.
The Road Transport Office has since then been monitoring commuters’ complaints on its helpline and has fined over 800 drivers who have refused to fares. Meanwhile, the campaign has also provided tremendous publicity to UFO, the digital advertising agency owned by organiser Krishnan in partnership with an IT firm.
“We started this as a form of social media activism, and now it has grown into a responsibility,” said Krishnan.