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40 South Delhi RWAs campaign to increase voter turnout

In a first, RWA members will serve as booth level officers (BLOs) for their respective housing societies, particularly in low voter-turnout areas, to reach out to people and urge participation in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls on May 12.

delhi Updated: May 04, 2019 03:02 IST
Vatsala Shrangi
Vatsala Shrangi
New Delhi
south delhi,RWA campaign,voter turnout
40 South Delhi RWAs campaign to increase voter turnout(PTI)

‘Apka matdan – loktantra ki jaan’ (Your vote — the life of democracy) is the slogan of over 40 residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) in the South Delhi parliamentary constituency, who have tied up with the state election office to conduct door-to-door voter awareness programme across all assembly segments.

In a first, RWA members will serve as booth level officers (BLOs) for their respective housing societies, particularly in low voter-turnout areas, to reach out to people and urge participation in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls on May 12.

Under the ‘I will Vote’ campaign, the associations will use different media, such as YouTube channels, handbills and text messages, to maximise the turnout from each assembly segment.

“We will launch the campaign on Thursday. This is the first time that RWAs, on such a large-scale, will be conducting a door-to-door drive. The district election officer (DEO) will be providing us with the necessary material, such as banners, posters, handbills and hoardings. Our target is to increase participation in low-turnout pockets,” said Sandeep Bali, the campaign leader and president, Mehrauli RWA Forum.

Also, these RWAs have been tasked with coordinating with senior citizens and persons with disabilities, for ferrying them from home to polling stations in e-rickshaws. “We have proposed to engage 10 e-rickshaws per assembly constituency. The number will be finalised by the DEO. We have been given the list of such voters in each area and will start visiting them to ascertain their needs,” said Bali.

Delhi’s chief electoral officer (CEO), Ranbir Singh, had asked DEOs to rope in RWAs and urban communities to increase the voter turnout.

Nidhi Srivastava, DEO, South, said that the turnout is mostly poor in urban pockets and roping in representatives may help address the issue. “This is a first-of-its-kind experiment, wherein RWAs will play a vital role in urging people to vote. We will provide them with the necessary infrastructure and also monitor the campaign,” said Srivastava.

The South Delhi constituency comprises assembly segments of Mehrauli, Badarpur, Bijwasan, Sangam Vihar, Chhatarpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Kalkaji, Tughlakabad, Palam and Deoli.

Yogesh Malhotra, coordinator, Vasant Kunj RWA federation, said the campaign will also focus on roping in first-time and young voters, whose numbers usually remain low.

“We will organise street plays and upload videos on our YouTube channel to attract young voters. It will be an aggressive campaign to make every single voter participate in the festival of democracy,” said Malhotra.

The parliamentary constituency has a total of 2,065,755 electors.

First Published: May 04, 2019 03:02 IST