The Shiromani Akali Dal has found an interesting way to engage with citizens and collect feedback of its policies through its official magazine Jagriti published in Punjabi and Hindi and Advance in English.
The mouthpiece published by the information and public relations office every month is now being printed in bulk and copies distributed free of cost to people at the main bus stands, according to new orders of the state government.
For this, the government issued orders to the district and public relation officers (DPROs) throughout the state and told them to maintain records of mobile phone numbers and addresses of those who got copies of the magazine at the bus stands.
Started as an experiment last April, the magazine is distributed to every Shiromani Akali Dal leader, panchayats, block samitis, zila parishad members and all government offices.
Sources in deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's office said the feedback taken from those who received the magazine played an instrumental role in helping the party frame its election strategy during the assembly polls. The move seems to have worked for SAD and its alliance partner BJP as for the first time a party/alliance returned to power in the state.
According to an officer of the information and public relations department, Sukhbir Badal himself would call up the readers several times to know their opinion on the state government's policies and to know their demands.
A team of professionals was hired by SAD to call up readers, especially party workers at the grass-roots level and panchayat members. A Noida-based private printer has been hired for printing the magazine. The cost of printing one copy is Rs 11.
The magazine elaborates government policies and its stand on various issues.
The latest issue waxes eloquent on the historical victory of the SAD-BJP and the details of the newly sworn-in cabinet ministers. The magazine also lists the road map announced by the SAD's main declaration in the manifesto.