The 9,600 volunteers of the “Swacha Mumbai Probhodan Abhiyan”, created by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2013 as part of its “Clean Mumbai” campaign, have been roped in by the Election Commission to carry the message of voting, door-to-door.
While the voting percentage in the 2009 Maharashtra Assembly election stood at 45.98 per cent, the Election Commission has set out a voter target of 70 per cent in Mumbai for the upcoming October 15 election.
“They carry leaflets to tell people to enlist themselves as voters and deliver lectures on how important it is to vote for your city,” said Subhash Davli, officer on special duty with the civic body for the clean Mumbai campaign. Dalvi has been appointed as the ambassador for the voter awareness campaign and the BMC is the central agency undertaking the campaign because of its omnipresent status in the city.
Apart from the BMC volunteers, students from across 1,176 municipal schools, National Service Scheme (NSS) cadres from across 400 colleges in the city and close to 15,000 teachers have also been roped in for the campaign. Further, 200 mahila bachat ghats or women’s self-help groups and aaganwadi workers have also been roped-in to spread the message across the city.
The campaign was initiated from the day the model code of conduct was announced on September 12. Termed SVEEP or the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation Plan, the main idea of the campaign is to involve people from diverse fields to spread the message. “We are also making use of the 140 virtual classrooms in civic schools through which we are educating children, who in-turn will spread the word to their parents,” Dalvi added. The campaign will also aim at spreading the message through posters, banners, advertisements in television and newspapers, posting stickers on taxis across the city and signature campaigns in every neighbourhood.