By Active Citizens Youth Group
How many of us vote? To be honest - Hardly anyone! and because we don’t vote, we aren’t very happy with the government in office. “Not voting” during the elections has become more of a trend amongst our community members because they perceive that voting won’t help. Actually, their notions are wrong!! Voting does help. Besides, being citizens of a democratic country, it’s our legal right too.
We figured “not voting” as a major problem in our community and as Active Citizens we had to do something to encounter this issue. Towards the end of Active Citizens workshop, we – eight young people – formed a group and decided to do our social action project around encouraging community people to start casting their votes.
We chose Gulberg 3, Gulberg 2, Ghalib market, Fatehabad Lahore as target areas to spread voting awareness and divided the work equally amongst ourselves. Javeed Yousaf and Babu Server agreed on monitoring and evaluating our project while the rest of us became project executors.
We commenced “Voting Awareness Campaign” by carrying out a research into the voting concepts people have in rural areas. Research helped us in locating the precise problem and we devised a strategy in presenting our counterarguments. We began visiting these people individually - door to door – raising awareness about the benefits of voting and the ways it can impact their lives.
This done, we arranged a get-together for the entire community where we discussed the pros of voting openly and even invited a speaker to further clarify indigenous enquiries.
Most of the community people agreed to cast their votes next time the elections take place, however some were still adamant. We’re endeavouring to convince them too but, at the end of the day, voting would be entirely everybody’s own choice.
An important aspect of the campaign was we bore all the expenses wholly ourselves. We didn’t collect any funds nor did we ask any affluent community member to support us in managing our project.
We sincerely hope our struggle bears fruit and community people begin voting!