India is the world’s largest democracy where more than 700 million people vote and contribute towards directing this ancient civilization into the future. As an ode to the diverse and democratic ethos, ‘What India Needs’ project was initiated in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The sole objective of the project was to encourage the young population to go out and vote and also urge others around them to do the same.
In the last few years, the voter turnout in urban centres like Bengaluru has gone down. To address this challenge, a campaign was conceptualized comprising a mix of online and offline modes.
The outreach team in Bengaluru approached Justice N. Santosh Hegde (former SC judge, Solicitor General and Lokayukta of Karnataka). Justice Hegde gave a message that helped reach more than 5000 people through online media. Watch his video messages here and here.
On 18th April 2019, an offline program was also conducted in MLA Academy of Higher Learning, one of the premier colleges in Bengaluru.
(Selfies submitted by the young leaders)
An interesting aspect of the project was the innovative use of social media, which made it easier to reach the younger population. Under the campaign, each individual had to urge 20 relatives each from their maternal and paternal sides and 10 persons from their friend and neighbourhood circles. In this way, each participant had to get 50 people on board. Finally, all participants sent a ‘Selfie’ to the team. These images were then posted on an Instagram page with the name ‘Selfie for India.’ Around 550 leaders sent their pictures and digital certificate was sent to them as a token of appreciation.
The campaign was to encourage youngsters to know the system and be part of the system. Nothing changes until we raise our voice and be the change. These ideas were inspired from our Guru and role model Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam whose motto was “Always nation first “.
–Sagar U.S (Secretary, Kalam Centre)
“I appreciate the work done by the Bengaluru team, and especially by Sagar. The campaign is welcome step in the direction of creating an active civil society. Through their participation, citizens become keystones of good governance and elect leaders responsibly. This is an important factor in promoting overall development of a nation where one-tenth of humanity gets to vote.”
–Srijan Pal Singh (CEO, Kalam Centre)