On 27th March 2018, Ms. Kavita Ratna and Mr. Arjun Rajan from CWC (The Concerned for Working Children), visited BREADS and discussed their campaign “Me & My Vote are NOT for SALE” (launched in 2007). This campaign is mainly organized by Hakkottaya Andolana (Movement for Self-determination of Local Governments). Consisting of representatives from the gram panchayats and gram sabhas of Karnataka, it’s main focus is to secure and safeguard the provisions of democratic decentralisation. They also spoke about how this campaign allows the elected local governance institutions at the grassroot level to become an agency of social justice and advancement. This would promote the practice of citizens voting judiciously, without being bribed by any particular party/group of people.
Ms. Kavita talked about how the campaign cautions people (potential voters, youth, urban and rural students etc.) about the danger of being bribed by corrupt politicians in exchange for votes, and strongly recommends that people should ask for accountability and responsibility from their elected representatives.
It is said that only around 30% of Bangalore’s urban population votes and we need to convince citizens that it is actually necessary to exercise their franchise.
BREADS will join hands with the campaign in ten districts of Karnataka under the CREAM (Child Rights Education and Action Movement) Project, to affirm the idea that the real power lies in people’s hands. Some of the means of disseminating this idea would be through door-to-door awareness, distribution of posters and stickers, widespread awareness among youth and adults in the community.