Mustafah, who plays football daily at Nehru Maidan, could recognise only the word ‘vote’ on a paraglider that flew across the ground Tuesday morning. When told that it was aimed creating awareness on voting, he was surprised: “Oh, was it a campaign to make us vote? I did not realise as it was too high,” he told this reporter.
A milk vendor was equally clueless. “Was that a helicopter,” he asked this reporter. On being told about the paraglider and its purpose, the milk vendor said, “It is difficult to get people to vote with the field campaign, how can anybody be inspired with such a gimmick.”
Mustafah and the milk vendor were among the few early birds to see the paraglider fly around for a while near Nehru Maidan Tuesday morning. This aerial initiative was part of the Systematic Voters Education for Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme being done for increasing the voter turnout.
The paragliding campaign, which was scheduled for Monday, was postponed to Tuesday because of bad weather condition. Promising a two-hour action on Tuesday, the presspersons were told to “be there at Nehru Maidan between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.” But on Tuesday morning it got over as soon as it began for those at the ground.
The campaign was conducted by Nikolai Singh, president of Meghalaya Paragliding.
He has been asked to fly in all the 30 districts in the State by April with a message highlighting the importance of voting. Mr. Singh has so far covered Bangalore, Mysore, Mandya, Ramanagara and Chamarajnagar.
On Monday, Mr. Singh told reporters that he has been doing aerial search operations and was supporting the Central Industrial Security Force’s (CISF) Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (Cobra).
He was working in Kaziranga National Park when he got an opportunity to encourage people aerially to vote in the Meghalaya Assembly elections.