The voting season is just around the corner with a few days left to cast your vote and make a difference. With so many significant issues at hand, people, as citizens of this free country, have the responsibility and right to cast their votes in this upcoming Lok Sabha Election in April. Other than being a constitutional right, you vote matters a lot for so many other reasons.
Voting makes a difference
Like every vote counts, yours too. If you want to make a change, you should cast your vote. Voting affects access to education, basic income, healthcare and childcare, tax policies, roads and transport facilities and other amenities. Make your voice heard and express your opinion through your vote. Not only does it give you the power to elect the right representative but it also helps you become a crucial part of the decision-making process affecting your regular life. When you vote, you get a platform to express your opinion on the issues you are concerned about.
One of the significant processes to determine the smooth functioning of a city, voting is a privilege and fundamental right that every citizen should exercise, irrespective of age, knowledge, or experience. From healthcare to food, educational policies to jobs, from highways to taxes, elected representatives take crucial decisions on these vital issues that affect our lives. Hence, voting becomes instrumental in the development of a nation.
Role of universities in creating awareness regarding voting
Every university should encourage students to exercise their invaluable vote because young learners have the power to make a significant change in shaping the country through elections. Research reveals that students who discuss current events in college or at home and engage in debates on social issues are more likely to cast their vote. Universities are places where political issues are a part of the curriculum and faculty members promote discussion of policy debates as a part of pedagogy. It becomes easier for students to realize the importance of voting. Universities should also organize programs to spread awareness about voting and encourage students to register and vote.
To create awareness on voting among the young minds and bring a change in the society, REVA University kickstarted its flagship campaign, ‘Jagruti’ – a voting awareness initiative in November 2018 by REVA Electoral Literacy Association (RELA) as a part of their USR (University Social Responsibility) to conscientiously evoke the public awareness, knowledge and demand for successfully functioning democratic processes.
With an aim to empower citizens and spread awareness on voting, RELA’s Jagruti implemented well-organized and efficiently planned approaches and innovative methods. Phase 1 which started on November 16, 2018, over 800 students and 200 faculty members participated and undertook a digital survey to record the voting mindset systematically through a Google form questionnaire. In Phase 2 of the campaign which was held on March 18, 2019, REVA students took the streets of Bengaluru by storm through a powerful march, street plays and dance performances with an aim to invoke civic consciousness on voting. Hon’ble Chancellor of REVA University, Dr. P. Shyama Raju, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. S. Y. Kulkarni along with other dignitaries released a souvenir on Jagruti titled – “Jagruti- A Movement Towards Nation Building”.
Preceded by Phase 1 and 2, spanning over 6 months, Phase 3 which kickstarted in April 2019 has been on a singular mission, to educate citizens on voting as a right and a responsibility. Jagruti Phase 3 is a digital platform where voting as a right will be endorsed to grab the attention of modern social media aficionados with an aim to transform the campaign with WhatsApp, Twitter, Website, Facebook, Vlogs and Blogs as the forums for communication.
Realizing the fact that the process of voting acts as a gateway to various forms of civic engagement, REVA University’s Jagruti has made a huge impact on more than 1 lakh homes of Bengaluru. The cause continues to stir the country with small but methodical steps.