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Jagruti - The Journey So Far…

BEGIN TODAY FOR A BETTER TOMORROW

The brain child of Dr. P. Shyama Raju, Honourable Chancellor, REVA University, Jagruti is a cause that is close to everyone’s heart at REVA. 2018 saw the conception of RELA- REVA Electoral Literacy Association, an organized effort to spread a sense of civic responsibility towards voting among citizens and thereby inducing their democratic sensibility. Thus was born Jagruti, its first program. The main focus currently is the constituency of Byatarayanapura in Bengaluru.

What is Jagruti

An awakening! A rise to action, a quiet revolution that could only be fostered amidst a growing intellectual community like REVA. In spite of an energetic cosmopolitan population, Bengaluru has been moving backward in terms of participation in the democratic machinery of the country. The overall aggregate voting enrollment and participation from urban India has been rather poor, as observed through the country. This disappointment strongly points towards the eminent failure and loss of faith amongst this populace in the ideals of democracy, so arduously built by the freedom struggle and the architects of our constitution. A large democracy naturally translates to a large voting population due to its sheer size. However, our country here needs a step up, not just in active involvement but also in being equipped with the right knowledge. This precipitation needs a boost. REVA Electoral Literacy Association (RELA) is a convinced endeavor by the University, faculty and students, to conscientiously evoke in citizens the awareness, knowledge of and need for ideally functioning democratic processes. The essence and vision of RELA is aligned with empowerment of the citizens for better participation in the electoral democracy in voluntarily registering and ethically voting in every election.

RELA constituted Jagruti to counter this legacy of a non-participatory mindset in people.

Objectives of Jagruti:

  • Creating awareness on the electoral process of the country.
  • Aiding voters’ contribution through activities organized by students.
  • Providing platforms for people to interact and expand on their knowledge of democratic processes.
  • Encouragement of people’s interaction with the political system.
  • Promoting accountability towards civic responsibility.
  • Helping citizens make informed choices.
  • Introducing and enlightening citizens on Digital electoral procedures.
  • A hands on engagement with citizens of the constituency to take the cause forward by setting an example.

The PREPARATION

RELA has been conducting interactive activities in the University campus to impart electoral education to students. The students have actively immersed themselves in a consolidated foregrounding required for this enterprising and enriching task. In order to inform and expose students to Indian General Elections, RELA had organized and ensured their participation in debates, essay writing competitions, Nirvachitra- a film show, celebration of National Voter’s Day, Democracy Wall and elucidation of the electoral history of the Country.

Jagruti: The Inauguration
The campaign was inaugurated on 16th November 2018. Sri Sanjiv Kumar, IAS, Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka was the Chief Guest of this event. Sri Sreenivasachary, IAS (Retd.,), State Election Commission was the Guest of Honour of this event and Dr. P. Shyama Raju, Hon’ble Chancellor, REVA University presided over the event. This event witnessed the oath taking ritual for all at REVA to uphold independent India’s democratic values. The Guests and other dignitaries shared their thoughts on the growing need for democratic values to come into play for the betterment of our society. Student volunteers also exhibited a play which proclaimed the importance of voting.

Jagruti: The Interaction- Phase 1

‘Jagruti’ conducted ‘Deeksha Vidhana Event’ on 19th November 2018. More than 800 students of REVA University and its allied educational institutions participated in this event as volunteers to spread the message of voting, beginning with conducting an awareness electoral centric survey in Byatarayanapura Constituency of Bengaluru.Close to 50 lecturers participated in the campaign. Dr. P. Shyama Raju, Hon’ble Chancellor, REVA University initiated this campaign. Two round workshops were conducted for students and lecturers who were involved in this campaign. In these workshops electoral officers participated to guide the group to a better understanding of the mission and its importance. BBMP officials were a crucial part of this door to door campaign.

The Findings

This 11 day arduous process had student and faculty volunteers move door to door, interacting with residents of the constituency, armed with a google form questionnaire that would help them prepare a detailed survey report on the voting pattern and mindset of the city. At the culmination of this project, which was also an experiential learning for students, a report will be submitted to the State Election Commission for further action and study. Dr. Shubha. A, Director, School of Commerce and Management Studies and Dr. K. S. Narayanaswamy, Director, School of Management Studies, REVA University were at the helm of this campaign directing the mission forward. The joint effort of students and faculty covered 1, 02, 420 homes of the constituency, a remarkable feat.

A Mission Accomplished

REVA University celebrated the successful completion of the first phase of Jagruti, a campaign by REVA Electoral Literacy Association (RELA) on 6 December 2018 at Kuvempu Auditorium in the campus. A voting awareness campaign, students of the University immersed themselves in the process of educating residents of Byatarayanpura constituency on the importance and details of elections.

To commemorate the realisation of this ongoing campaign, where more than 800 students and 200 faculty members supported by the very involved members of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) participated, REVA hosted an Appreciation Meet. Shri. P. S. Vastrad, IAS (Retd.), Karnataka, Senior Consultant, SVEEP, (Election Commission of India), was the esteemed Chief Guest with Dr. P. Shyama Raju, Honourable Chancellor, REVA University presided over the event.

Vice Chancellor, REVA University, Dr. S. Y. Kulkarni welcomed the gathering of an auditorium full of students and faculty, who were the driving force behind and at the forefront of Jagruti. Addressing the excited crowd of social crusaders, Dr. S. Y. Kulkarni defined the goal of the meet and the continuing campaign, “to build a better society, where Democracy functions at its best”. Chief Guest, Shri. P. S. Vastrad congratulated Jagruti on, “Infusing new blood” into the spirit of democracy in the country by blazing the trail, informing residents on the relevance and working of electoral aspects like VVPAT and NOTA. Event President, Dr. P. Shyama Raju, said that by initiating RELA, thus Jagruti, REVA has attempted to reinstate faith in our nation’s civic cognizance and “began a revolution by empowering people with knowledge”

The Journey Goes On…

This is only the beginning of a quiet revolution. The campaign will enter its second phase, a performative and participatory engagement with residents, where street plays, songs, cultural performances will become the medium of imparting and spreading electoral awareness, for another segment of this journey.


Jagruti Phase 2

REVA University inaugurated REVA Electoral Literacy Association’s (RELA) Jagruti, commencing its Phase 2

Date : 28th March 2019

Organized By : School of ECE, REVA University

Time : 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Venue : Kuvempu Auditorium on the campus, REVA University

Ms. DishaOberoi, RJ, RED FM 93. 5, who has tied up with Election Commission to spread awareness on voting and has been actively involved in causes related to that was the Chief Guest of the event. Dr. P. Shyama Raju, Honorable Chancellor, REVA University presided over the meeting along with Dr. S. Y. Kulkarni, Vice Chancellor, REVA University and other dignitaries gracing the occasion.

Jagruti Phase 1 started in 2018, was the “antecedent to a thought that needed youth participation” said Dr. S. Y. Kulkarni. It ripened into a wonderful conclusion; a 12-day survey process where students and faculty members of REVA were engrossed in an interactive session with every resident of Byatarayanapura Constituency of Bengaluru. Phase 1 concluded taking a positive direction with an overwhelming response from residents.

Encouraged by the success of the survey, RELA spearheaded Jagruti Phase 2, a more participatory podium. Students will engage residents with powerful enactments, songs, performances and more. This time the engagement will be more direct and hands on. The inauguration also released the Jagruti Phase 1 Souvenir- a chronicle of the work accomplished and a record of the experience in the form of a booklet.

“It falls on your shoulders, everyone present here, to encourage the other to vote” articulated Disha Oberoi, who is considered a youth icon for her continuing support for causes and initiatives for public welfare. Dr. P. Shyama Raju took this moment to further motivate students of REVA in “realizing the vision of a better nation”

More than 1 lakh homes were visited in Phase 1. With this staggering achievement, REVA became one of the pioneers to herald a cause so closely associated with national development. The efforts that found fruition with the hard work and commitment of REVA, was recognized on 25 January 2019, International Voter’s Day, where Dr. P. Shyama Raju, Honorable Chancellor, REVA University, was felicitated by the Governor of Karnataka, Shri. Vajubhai, Rudabhai Vala along with other dignitaries of the State Election Commission for ushering in social awakening through Jagruti. Phase 2 is the beginning of marching this awakening to action.