People visiting retail stores and malls this month might receive more than mere commodities. On the cash receipts, they might find printed exhortations, asking them to vote in the upcoming elections to the State Assembly and Parliament.
One particular retail chain store has already begun the exercise to influence the vast bank of middle class voters. Besides stamping on the cash receipts, the stores of the chain are also displaying banners and flexi-boards asking consumers to vote.
The Labour Department has also initiated a drive to rope in major shopping malls and retail stores in the city to educate and increase awareness among voters.
In a meeting with representatives of about 15 retail and entertainment brands on Friday, Joint Commissioner of Labour (Twin Cities) E. Gangadhar asked them to take proactive measures in the campaign for voting.
“We are doing this as part of the ‘Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) programme initiated by the Election Commission. The malls will be asked to stamp slogans on the receipts issued to customers, besides planning their own separate campaign modes voluntarily,” Mr. Gangadhar said.
Accordingly, many retailers agreed to display banners and flexi-boards, while a few volunteered to have small skits performed in the mall’s atrium. A list of messages to be stamped on the vouchers has been issued by the department.
Representatives from INOX, Westside, Health and Glow, Big Bazar, City Centre, Ratnadeep, Kalamandir, More, GVK One, Mujtaba Jewellers, TBZ, Shoppers Stop, and Varun Motors attended Friday’s meeting.
A rally is also being planned on April 13, with participation from the employees of the malls, for increasing voter awareness.
Further, Mr. Gangadhar told the employers about the mandatory provision of observing the Polling Day, on April 30, as a paid holiday.