Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BMC, Citizens Associations Team Up To Boost Voter Turnout

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BMC, Citizens Associations Team Up To Boost Voter Turnout

Scheduled for May 20, 2024, voting will occur across Mumbai City District and Mumbai Suburban District, encompassing six electoral constituencies in total. Numerous citizen groups in Mumbai have also launched voter awareness campaigns.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Monday, April 01, 2024, 10:46 PM IST
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BMC | File pic

Mumbai: In an endeavor to bolster voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has initiated a series of measures. Scheduled for May 20, 2024, voting will occur across Mumbai City District and Mumbai Suburban District, encompassing six electoral constituencies in total. Numerous citizen groups in Mumbai have also launched voter awareness campaigns.

Various methods are being employed to raise awareness among voters in both districts. The BMC is striving to encourage greater participation among residents of Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban Districts. Among these efforts, Additional Municipal Commissioner (City) Dr. (Ms.) Ashwini Joshi has directed the implementation of awareness campaigns through unique channels, targeting construction companies, large buildings, business complexes, markets, theaters, malls, schools, and colleges.

A review meeting was convened at the BMC headquarters on April 1, 2024, to assess the progress of endeavors aimed at enhancing voter turnout in the Lok Sabha elections. Additional Municipal Commissioner (Elections) Mr. Vijay Balamwar presented the plans and initiatives undertaken for election management and voter awareness.

Dr. Ashwini Joshi, Additional Municipal Commissioner (City), stated, "On Monday, May 20, 2024, voting will take place for six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban Districts. Efforts are underway from the BMC, Mumbai City District, and Mumbai Suburban District to coordinate efforts. Compared to the last Lok Sabha elections held in 2019, we aim to increase voter turnout significantly."

Additionally, municipal authorities were directed to formulate action plans to augment turnout in electoral wards where voter participation was below 60% during the previous elections.

Under the Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Programme, the 171 Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar constituency organized a voter registration camp in the Kamla Raman Nagar area in coordination with the Govandi Citizens Welfare Forum. This initiative aims to foster a culture of voting and empower citizens to exercise their rights.

Shaikh Faiyaz Alam, founder of Govandi Citizen Welfare Forum said, "In future, we request more people to organize such camps in their respective areas, so that the custom of voting becomes common in the society and There should be awareness about it, our only objective is to get every citizen of Govandi to vote and raise their voice for their rights.

Andheri Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens Association has been conducting voter awareness campaigns every Sunday, focusing primarily on first-time voters. Dhaval Shah, a member of the Andheri Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen's Association, emphasized their ongoing efforts in conducting voter awareness campaigns.

He stated, "We conduct these campaigns every Sunday, utilizing boards and images to inspire individuals. We strategically target high-traffic areas to ensure a significant turnout on voting day. Looking ahead to the upcoming month of May, we plan to intensify our awareness initiatives, carefully selecting dates to dissuade individuals from scheduling vacations on the voting day. Highlighting the past turnout statistics, particularly the 50.3% figure for the North West ward in 2019, we are determined not to remain the lowest performers. Given the densely populated nature of the North West constituency, our outreach efforts extend to schools, colleges, clubs, jogging parks, and social media platforms where we share informative content. We recognize ourselves as significant contributors in terms of taxes but have been among the lowest in voter turnout. Without amplifying our voices through voting, we cannot drive meaningful change."

As May 20, 2024, approaches, the BMC has initiated planning efforts across all 24 administrative departments. Moreover, steps are being taken to engage artists from the Marathi and Hindi film industries in the awareness campaign. Theatres and auditoriums will serve as venues for these campaigns, with regular announcements planned at bus stops and railway stations to remind commuters to vote.

The involvement of Anganwadi workers, health workers, members of savings groups, and teachers underscores the concerted effort to ensure widespread participation in the voter awareness campaign. Coordination between various agencies, including the district collector's office, BEST, railways, BMC, and Mumbai Police, aims to facilitate the effective implementation of these initiatives.

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