Equipped with fliers and visiting cards and donning the characteristic AAP caps, they roam around the narrow lanes of Mathura knocking at every door. They chat with men, women and children alike, distributing paraphernalia, raising slogans against corruption, price rise, the BJP and the Congress — attracting both sneers and smiles.
No, they are not party workers, but a motley of students from Delhi’s different colleges and universities. They have travelled from the capital to reach out to the common people of Mathura and ask them to vote for the Aam Aadmi Party).
“Unlike the Congress and the BJP who have deep pockets, we are contesting the elections on a limited budget. But we do not lack in enterprise. We have a lot of AAP student volunteers in Delhi, so we thought why not bring some of them here? We first invited students from my own mass communication school in Mathura. Later, students of other universities were also eager to join us. Now,we have as many as 200 students from various colleges to support us,” says Anuj Garg, the AAP’s Mathura candidate.
Loni Bora, 21, from Assam, is one such volunteer. A student of Makhanlal University, Delhi, Bora has spent the last two weeks campaigning door-to-door for Garg. “Garg is the only candidate who interacts with people. He has been born and brought up in the city and knows its problems,” she says.
For the campaign, National School of Drama’s Doorba Gogia has scripted and directed seven plays or nukkad nataks on themes like corruption, price rise and illiteracy. “Plays are an effective medium of communication,” she says.
For most, however, the experience has been both ‘an eye opener and a shocker’. “Earlier, all I knew Mathura as a land of temples and birthplace of Lord Krishna. But now I know that it is also a place which has hundreds of backward villages,” says Mona Kashyap, a student of Punjab Technical university.
The students do not know if Garg will win or lose, but their support is unfaltering. “All I want is that Mathura gets an honest and hard working candidate like Garg. That is why, I have come this far,” says Seema, a JNU student.