By Pranav Tonsekar:Â
Operation Black Dot is an initiative by the DDB Mudra Group and The Thincquisitive Foundation to make voting easy, engaging and fun for the urban youth of Mumbai. Our efforts are targeted towards streamlining the voter registration process for which we have collaborated with the Election Commission and using technology to quicken it in order to attract maximum number of college students and to break down political discourse in a format which appeals to our audience and therefore enable them to make an informed vote. In the second phase, a number of music concerts, debates, informal student-politician engagements and awareness videos have also been planned to encourage students to go vote on polling days. Our intent is to convey that political discourse does not always need to be conventional and must evolve with changing times.
Operation Black Dot is the city’s largest apolitical campaign having registered 40,000 first time voters across 60 college campuses in Mumbai. We have devised an application to quicken the registering process, helping students make their Voters ID in just a couple of minutes. At the other end we are also conducting engagements to generate awareness leading up to the 2014 elections. A number of youth icons such as Vishal Dadlani, Anushka Manchanda, Purab Kohli, RJ Jose and Aditi Mittal have partnered with us to champion the cause.
Our various awareness activities will break down political discourse in a format which appeals to this age group, therefore enabling them to make an informed vote.
OBD Hangouts is an informal platform created wherein students and young professionals get an opportunity to engage with elected representatives and candidates from their respective constituencies. Attendees of the event are free to put forward their questions, debate and deliberate as to how they can collaboratively find solutions to matters concerning them and their area. With the OBD dialogue, we aim to make political discourse interesting and give students a chance to engage with political leaders, political makers and society influencers. This will make them understand the different aspects of governance such as economy, foreign policy, inclusivity, employment and education to make an informed vote. The Undecided Voter is a series of webisodes starring RJ Jose on Youtube. It focuses on current affairs and pressing issues in a quick, light hearted format that appeal to the youth. On the last day of voting, one is invited to celebrate democracy at India’s first ever voters’ party.
Given our current socio-economic and political scenario, 2014 general elections will play a key role in shaping the future of our country. Hence, at Operation Black Dot we genuinely believe that every ‘thinking’ vote matters.