A group of professionals and entrepreneurs take to the stage to encourage young Indians to vote

This poll season, a chartered accountant, an advocate and a few entrepreneurs of Yi-CII (Young Indians - Confederation of Indian Industry) took to theatre to drive home a message. Their initiative was to connect with young Hyderabadis through two events – a 15-minute play Kal Aaj Kal and poetic recital titled Election ka Humse Connection that were recently presented at Lamakaan. “Our aim is not just to encourage youngsters to vote. We want to connect with them in a positive way and make them understand the power of a vote,” says Jyoti Das, an advocate.

Besides Jyoti, the group also includes Janvi Kumar, Amit Sarda, Anand Daga, Romit Shah, Naman Baldwa, Raghunandan and Ashish Agarwal and others with ‘no stage experience.’ “We built on the concept during our annual meetings but we were not sure if we could pull this off. With our busy work schedules, we could only meet twice a week . Besides, this was our first stage performance,” they say.

Kal Aaj Kal depicted two scenarios – the first one shows the setting when people vote and the second one when people face the repercussions of not voting. “Each of us played different characters like a housewife, labourer, slum dweller, student and an industrialist and the issues they deal with everyday. A journalist asks questions to a political representative and the act shows why voting is important and what happens if we vote for the wrong person,” says Jyoti and adds, “Our motto is not to ask young people to vote for any particular political party. Our endeavour is to just encourage them to vote,” says Jyoti.

The second act Election Ka Humse Connection, presented by 10 people was filled with conversations/ dialogues. It touched on topics like corruption, the importance of election and how each individual can play their part by voting.

Raghunandan, who earlier worked for TCS talks about the recent poll scenario in Bengaluru where techies opted to go to the zoo instead of voting! “We always complain about things not happening, but how can we complain about our political representatives when we ourselves have not exercised our right to vote?” he asks. Ashish talks about the changing trends in polling statistics. “The statistics are embarrassing to look at. The winning margin has reduced considerably,” he says.

Jyoti feels the educated urban populace could have a big say in how the country will come to be governed. “It is shameful to know that some youngsters are ignorant and have no general knowledge about developments in India. Some don’t even know who the President of India is,” she rues.

Infused with fresh thoughts, the team hopes young voters will assert, ‘mere pass vote hai’ when Hyderabad goes to polls on April 30.