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Lok Sabha elections 2019: In Gurugram, ‘Voting Taus’ to urge people to exercise franchise

To motivate people to register themselves in the voters’ list and cast their franchise in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, ‘Voting Taus’ — clad in traditional Haryanvi attire and carrying a latth (stick) — will make rounds of upscale markets, malls and condominiums in Gurugram from next week.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 16, 2019 00:11 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
The idea of voting taus, which was conceived prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, found resonance both with the general public as well as officials.(HT File Photo)

To motivate people to register themselves in the voters’ list and cast their franchise in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, ‘Voting Taus’ — clad in traditional Haryanvi attire and carrying a latth (stick) — will make rounds of upscale markets, malls and condominiums in Gurugram from next week.

Besides, around 40 artistes, who are employees of the information department, will spread out across Gurugram and Faridabad Lok Sabha constituencies to engage with eligible voters through their jokes, songs and traditional raginis (folk songs and messages) to make them aware of the importance of participating in the biggest democratic event in the country.

The idea of Voting Taus, which was conceived prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, found resonance both with the general public as well as officials, said Kuldip Saini, joint director of the information department.

“The response elicited by Voting Taus in upscale markets like Galleria market, Sector 29 and malls on MG road was very strong. People identified with their dressing and the message they gave. Later, many of them said that they had gone to vote because of the interaction they had with the Voting Taus. So, we have decided to send them to urban areas again, where voter turnout is generally less,” he maintained.

During a three-day workshop, which concluded in the city on Friday, the artistes, former information department employees and experts collaborated to create election-related songs, skits, and jokes through which they plan to attract probable voters, indifferent voters as well as the unaware voters, officials said. “I had become a Voting Tau during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the experience was very heartwarming. People would stop and listen to us in malls and markets. We also went to residential complexes. They would also click selfies with us,” said Bhim Sen, a member of the team.

Jhamman Mir, a retired artist from the department, shared tips with the team members on how to perform songs, deliver raginis and jokes that would have the maximum impact on audience. “Please deliver the message in such a way that it hits the soul but should not hurt it,” he asserted.

In the last general election in 2014, Voting Taus had visited Cyber city, Cyber Hub, Sikanderpur market, DLF phase 1, Galleria market, Sector 29 and outer areas of the city where they interacted with residents particularly young professionals. The Taus impressed upon the youth about the importance of participating in the electoral process that will decide the fate of the nation for the next 5 years. Apart from urban areas, they also visited Badshahpur, Sohna, Pataudi, Manesar, Hailymandi and Farrkhnagar where they were met with enthusiasm.

Officials said it had been noted that voting in rural areas was higher during the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls whereas urban areas witnessed comparatively less polling. “The objective of sending the cultural troupe and voting taus is to impress upon the voters not to waste this opportunity,” said RS Sangwan, deputy director, information.

First Published: Mar 16, 2019 00:11 IST