Stayed at home due to ‘work from home’

Polling booths at Gachibowli ZP High School wore a deserted look due to poor turn-out of voters for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election in Hyderabad on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

The Information Technology (IT) sector employees take the brunt of criticism whenever the polling percentage is low and in the GHMC elections too they are on top of the criticism radar as irresponsible citizens who preferred to stay home.

The turnout was abysmally low this time too and the Facebook was not flooded with the pictures of youngsters with the ink mark on their fingers unlike earlier elections. The reason is not just the irresponsibility and lack of commitment to democracy but their absence from the city itself may be another reason.

Majority of the IT employees are now working from home and a major chunk of them have shifted to their native places across the country. It is obvious that despite being enrolled as voters here they couldn’t come even if they wanted to. “Since lockdown in March some of my friends have shifted to their native places like Vishakapatnam and Bhopal along with families. You can’t expect them to come for voting,” agreed Spoorthy, a software employee in a top MNC. “Even I did not vote as there was little motivation. Irrespective of who wins I know it is the State government that will have sway over the GHMC,” she said.

Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA) global president Sundeep Kumar Makthala argued that over 80% of IT employees are working from home due to COVID-19 restriction and among the 5.82 lakh IT employees in the city nearly 80% are from other cities. “Most of them shifted to their home towns and those are here were disinclined as they were not pure locals connected with Hyderabad,” he felt.

This was not limited to just IT sector but the entire service sector as well that is yet to get back on the track from COVID-19 lockdown. Absence of voters in the city from hotel and hospitality industry too apparently added to the problem. Parshuram Reddy of PR Associates agrees that disinclination was evident as they were not connected with the city. The same people were super-enthusiastic to vote in the Parliament elections.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 6:09:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/stayed-at-home-due-to-work-from-home/article33223837.ece

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