Telangana

‘Awaz Do’ Hyderabad!

Hari Kasula, a US-based strategist, says they use social media and tele-calling solutions to motivate people to vote and voice their concerns.— Photo: By Arrangement

Hari Kasula, a US-based strategist, says they use social media and tele-calling solutions to motivate people to vote and voice their concerns.— Photo: By Arrangement  

Pramanya Strategy, an international political research and strategy organisation, launches a project to make people set the election agenda instead of political parties

eople should set the agenda and not the political parties if voting in the urban local body elections has to increase.

This is the reality worldwide, including the western countries with enlightened voters.

Little do the political parties realise this as they go on thrusting the concept of fancy skyways or swanky buses on people who generally look for a good road near their house, garbage-free street or adequate water supply. The hyper-local agenda will surely increase the voter turnout, which is a must for a healthy democracy.

To build the people-driven agenda, Pramanya Strategy – an international political research and strategy organisation – has launched a project ‘Awaz Do Hyderabad’ to ensure that the power of setting election agenda lies with public who cast vote and not the political parties that seek votes. The group has successfully done similar projects in the US elections engaging the political parties and candidates in designing the agenda accordingly.

The agenda will be passed on to the political parties and the candidates so that they make an informed strategy while going out to seek votes and make promises.

“The project uses social media and tele-calling solutions along with one-on-one interactions to motivate people to exercise their right to vote while encouraging them to voice their concerns about the community they live in and issues that are relevant and critical to them in these elections,” says Hari Kasula, a US-based strategist.

A dedicated Twitter handle “@awazdohyd” and a Facebook Page “@Awaz Do Hyderabad” will be used for the campaign. Similarly, a dedicated IVR phone number (8471055557) with multiple lines will be used for people to call and leave their messages for inclusion in the agenda. They can also leave WhatsApp messages or give missed calls for the information collectors to call back.

With less than 46 per cent of Hyderabadis turning up for voting in the 2009 elections, Mr. Kasula says most urban elections are similar. He adds that those who voted in general elections perceive elections to local bodies like GHMC as “insignificant” in the hierarchy of governance and thus stay away. Majority voters also feel that their local issues are never taken seriously and that their vote hardly makes any difference.

But a large section that votes consistently in general elections feels that the election agenda set by the political parties for local elections are not pertinent to their localities.

All these factors create disinterest among them, says Mr. Hari, whose group is also working with governments and political parties in other parts of India.



A dedicated Twitter handle “@awazdohyd” and a Facebook Page “@Awaz Do Hyderabad” to be used for the campaign



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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 7:47:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/%E2%80%98Awaz-Do%E2%80%99-Hyderabad/article14000254.ece

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