Rizvi Education Society, which has 15,000 students spread over eight institutions situated in its sprawling campus in Bandra (W), launched a unique campaign on Monday, February 6, 2012, to get the youth to take part in big numbers in the upcoming BMC elections. The entire campaign was to sensitise the youth to respect and be responsible for the Democracy offered to them on a platter. And a very important aspect of Democracy is the process of casting vote in all forms of elections in the country. The nine day long campaign made attempts to create an impact on the youth of the importance of their vote and the role it has to play in a democratic nation. The campaign was designed in such a way that it shall strike an emotional as well as rational cord with the youth and gear them to take their responsibilities seriously.
In the ensuing nine days a series of events were unfolded and it included smart poster displays, flash mobs, street plays, extempore debates, dummy voting, graffiti walls, tug of wars etc.
The grand finale was a mega march on Monday, February 13, 2012 from 9.00 a.m. onwards through the streets of Bandra-Khar. In the words of Abis Rizvi, secretary of the Society: "We were deeply concerned about the fact that India’s the world’s largest democracy, but with the lowest percentage of voting. Even though the voting age has been reduced to 18, awareness among the youth was not adequate. In India, there is more emphasis on rights but little is talked about our duties and the most fundamental duty is to vote. We are working towards maximum voter mobilization during the civic polls.”
On Feb 6, 2012 about 15,000 students took part in a dummy voting exercise on proposition – Who Should Be India’s Brand Ambassador? The students were given ballot papers and asked to mention their favorite brand ambassador and cast the votes in proper ballot boxes. They were educated on the process of voting, the do’s and dont’s et al. This was followed by a tug of war between two teams representing Honesty and Corruption and mercifully the Honesty team won! Also, there were society games where students had to select the issue they would like to tackle. The issues included malnutrition, illiteracy, corruption, high infant mortality and several others.
This entire initiative was being driven by the students of the Rizvi Education Society and this is the first time an education society with such a large student body has taken up such an initiative. Students had united under the umbrella of Rizvi to enthusiastically participate in this event.