By Mayank Jain:
Not all promises are made to be broken.
#unManifesto has made it possible for policymakers to hear the voice and sentiments of common people before preparing their manifestoes and promising vague things that don’t mean much to anyone except themselves. The one of a kind collaborative movement to collect promises from all over the country which voters want to be included in political manifestoes is fast reaching its pinnacle where ministers in their posh offices and luxurious cars take notice of the man on the streets and hear his voice.
The movement is also novel because of the seamless offline and online integration which makes it possible for anyone to submit his/her promises over the internet or at one of the many offline events which keep happening all around.
One such #unManifesto event took place in Patna, Bihar at Magadh Mahila College where students braved the rough weather and rains and came running to lend their voices for the hope of a better future. Ujali Raj, who is just 18-years-old and currently in the first year of her college voiced her demands for a proper arrangement for youths activities where they become a part of development rather than being brushed aside. She asked for more representation of youth in processes like governance and Aadhar issuance etc.
Another event was held as session with 100 young people in Khagaul, Bihar where they took part in batches and demanded important and insightful promises from the leaders instead of shallow populism that gets thrown upon them before elections.
Pravah, an organization based in New Delhi, India, working to impact issues of social justice through youth citizenship actions has played a pivotal role to make the campaign reach the masses as the promises collection drives are taking place over the city. One of them happened at the cultural hotspot Dilli Haat with their annual event, Music For Harmony and more such drives are scheduled for colleges of Delhi University.
#unManifesto workshops have taken place at Ramadheen College in Lucknow where as much as 750 promises were collected and students were effervescent about politics and change in governance. Similar events also took place in Rajasthan with the efforts of ALFA Educational Society, Udaipur and women spoke out assertively on their rights and privileges. Prantakatha from Kolkata also organized an event on the same lines and helped spread awareness and collect promises.
This is just the beginning of the year and the energy for the campaign is already high. We look forward to more events and participation. Change will follow only when we lead with our individual voices.