Christmas break was a much-needed one, especially for people working in foreign countries, as it helps to connect with family and friends back in home country. I was glad that I could get a breather in the name of year-end break. And that was when this write-up was born – chitchat with one of my close friends on Skype.
“Hello Akhil!” I was fully excited.
“Hello Sid! How are you and your family?”
“Isha and I are doing great.” Isha peeped into the mobile screen and greeted him and his family. He and his wife greeted her back.
“How are you, your wife and your precious angel?” I asked hurriedly, as if the whole world was going to end the next moment.
“All are doing great. I am having much fun, as my precious angel is three months old now. I am enjoying it dude.” The excitement of fathering an angel was clearly seen in his eyes.
“Great to hear that Akhil, I am sure you will have more fun in the coming days.”
“What’s the matter hero? Nowadays, I am reading more posts on being a great daddy. Do you have any good news?” He said, as if he wants me to join his club. I personally like, too.
“No dude. I am just writing whatever that strikes my mind.” I said looking into his eyes. He giggled.
“450 posts…out of that, ten would be useful for the society, rest all are just love stories. You kill the hero, the heroine, or both and sometimes, a different story altogether. Either you win a voucher from FlipKart, eBay or Book My Show or at times, you win some goodies. I still await your post on politics. Get out the real writer hiding in you – the raw writer, whom I first read in his Tamil Political Blog.” He inspired me always. In fact, it was his idea to write a Tamil political blog, which I eventually deleted because of dozen reasons.
“I wish Akhil. I wish to write such posts again. But what is the use? Do you think I can reach people?” I urged.
“Can’t we inspire and mobilize India’s youth to vote in the Indian General Elections 2014?” He demanded an answer.
“I have had enough. And you know that dude. I believe it is better not to write in that area again.” I whispered. His cute angel started crying, so his wife went inside the bedroom. After that, I added, “But we can inspire and mobilize India’s youth to vote using social media, especially the apps.”
“But without spamming…” He added, I acknowledged with a simple smile.
“We can use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogger for reaching maximum people and WeChat, Whatsapp, Blackberry Messenger, Viber, Skype for contacting people.” I said.
He said putting his tongue out, “Two decades back, we just had BSNL Land phones.”
“I agree dude. That’s the power of the social media and social mobile apps.” I said.
“Okay. Let’s create a group, a list and a board called ‘General Elections 2014’ and target the youth crowd in our city and state. Let’s create awareness first.”
“Good…then we can connect using WeChat or Whatsapp using their details. Am I right?” He asked, as if he wants to create a group right away.
“No. First, we have to reach our college mates for help. We need to form a team. Then, we can target the crowd, teaching them the importance of voting in General Elections 2014. Then based on their interest, we can collect the contact details and connect.
We can set targets.
- First is to get a voter id for each individual.
- If they have a voter id already, check if their name is listed in Electoral rolls.
- If listed in the Electoral rolls, then verify the details.
- If not, enroll to become a voter.
- Why should one vote in General Elections 2014?
- Election Commission of India Updates and Reminders
If we can achieve these targets before the end of Feb’14, I am sure that we can see a positive change.”
“That should be cool. I have a doubt: Shall we use a Hashtag?” Akhil asked, curiously. I nodded my head, and he said, “#VoteForIndia”
“Then we can use Twitter and Facebook alone to spread the awareness. What is the use of WeChat, Whatsapp or Blackberry Messenger? I mean the social mobile apps.” He gave a smile.
“According to a recent survey, 867,800,000 people out of 1,220,800,359, use mobile phones in India, which is approximately 70%. That is why we need mobile apps, which gives the power of connecting people in India. Be it WeChat, Whatsapp, Blackberry Messenger or whatever; use it to the fullest to connect with people. Because we lose when we fail to cannot with people effectively. Moreover, we need to use these apps wisely to connect and address concerns.” I stared for a minute and then added, “We need to create Expert Groups. Say, one expert group to clarify any queries that comes in case of registering a voter id, one expert group to help in listing in Electoral rolls, one to address general concerns, one to send updates of Election Commission of India, one to send reminders. Likewise, we can create a decent number of expert groups with corresponding QR code.” I said in a confident tone.
“Do you think we both can handle all these groups?” He gave a puzzled look.
“We can’t. We two have to reach twenty of our friends and form expert groups, twenty expert groups to two hundred, and to two million.” I said.
“Okay. But…but…we can reach our state. How can we reach the entire nation?”
“Let us reach our state first. I have friends: Arvind Passey, Ekta, Leo, Cifar and many are there, who can help us to inspire and mobilize the whole of India to vote in General Elections 2014.”
“Good. But which party are we supporting, Congress, BJP or AAP?”
“What is the need to support a party? Let’s not influence people who trust us. Let’s inspire and spread the awareness of voting and the power it gives to the individual.” I said confidently.
“That’s awesome Sid! Anyway, let me create a group on Facebook, list on Twitter and Pin Board on Pinterest and let you know the links.”
“I will take care of mobilizing using WeChat, Whatsapp, and Blackberry Messenger to our friends.” I said, smiling.
“Great! I hope for a positive change.” He said.
“Our dream is to make all the people of India to Vote in General Elections 2014.” We said in unison.
“Let’s inspire and mobilize all of India and make them Proud to be a Voter! Jai Ho!” I said loudly, as if the entire nation could hear me. I was glad that I spoke to him on Skype.