Even as citizen groups in Mumbai are going all out in their effort to get Mumbaiites to vote, they say lack of volunteers hampers the process. "Door-to-door campaigning remains unachievable. For campaigns to become a success, manpower and good volunteer-strength is a must," said Gaurang Vora, member of F North Ward Citizens' Federation.
Some groups are, however, doing whatever they can. Rajkumar Sharma, coordinator for Action for Good governance and Networking in India (AGNI) in Chembur, said, "In the past, we have collaborated with cable television owners and requested them not to air popular movies on cable on election day." He said this time around the civic poll date was mid-week, so there would be no need for a request.
Anandini Thakoor and Manuela Saldanha of H-West Federation said it was also important to make the voting process easier for handicapped and senior citizens. "We have arranged for five cars in our ward to help disabled and senior citizens get to polling stations," said Saldanha, secretary, H-West Federation.
In Mulund, 25-30 young volunteers, in collaboration with seven NGOs, will organise street plays and college campaigns to urge people to vote. "Such activities are important to draw the middle class to vote," said Prakash Padikkal, president of Hillside Residents' Welfare Association, one of the seven NGOs.
Indrani Malkani, trustee, V Citizens Action Network, which functions in the Malabar Hill ward, said the modus operandi of getting people to vote would be simple. "There will be no strong-arm tactics. People just have to be convinced enough to come out and vote," she said.