Monday, January 25, 2010

Janaagraha reaches out to 15 lakh residents

Janaagraha reaches out to 15 lakh residents
Bangalore, Jan 24, DH News Service:

In a sign of the increasing citizen participation in the City's administration, a staggering 15 lakh Bangaloreans - especially the youths as well as the golden-agers - are now in a better position to decide the civic administration of the IT hub.

Thanks to the ‘Jaagte Raho!’ campaign being undertaken by Janaagraha, a non-profit organisation striving to strengthen democracy.

Delighted over the ‘huge’ public response the campaign has generated, Janaagraha co-founder Ramesh Ramanathan said that they succeeded in reaching out to them through the 1000-odd Area Voter Mitras or AVMs who committed to volunteer for creating awareness among voters about the upcoming BBMP elections.

Active participation

Disclosing this at a lecture on “Are you a boss or a leader?” organised as part of the Lions Club International's Region II Meet here on Sunday, Janaagraha co-founder Ramesh Ramanathan stressed on the need to actively participate in the civic administration affairs.

“It's wrong to put the blame on the corrupt politicians because as citizens we must take part in the affairs of our City,” Ramanathan said.

Exemplifying the citizens' negligence towards the urban local government, he said that not many Bangaloreans knew a thing as basic as the BBMP budget which is close to $ one billion.

Who are AVMs?

Area Voter Mitras or AVMs are people who volunteer themselves, as part of the Jaagte Raho! campaign, for guiding voters about the upcoming BBMP elections on February 21. An AVM will undergo training as soon as he/she enrolls for it.

Three hours a week

Later, one has to devote at least three hours a week. ‘Jaagte Raho!’ is aimed at ensuring at least 60 pc voter turnout in the civic elections being held after 2001. Besides, ensuring 100 pc voter registration is also on the organisers' target list.
The campaign was gaining pace in constituencies like Malleswaram and Vijayanagar where youths had enrolled in large numbers, said Roshan Krishnan, a volunteer.

“Know your candidate”, an initiative to make citizens informed about their candidates, is also part of the campaign. For details, log on to


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