I see my part in changing political realities and narratives as one of my most tangible achievements. In the recent 2019 General Elections, I helped come up with a novel voter engagement and participation strategy built around- millennials. According to the 2011 Census data, about two crore youngsters turn 18 each year, therefore each general election, approximately ten crore first-time voters are eligible to vote. These millennials, the largest new voter bracket in the country, were also the least politically active. In spite of such a booming young population, the voter turnout by the younger citizens is always the lowest. I felt the main reason for this was because current politicians were neither in tune with the aspirations nor fluent with the communication used by the youngsters of the country.
To make sure the campaign was hyper-relevant, we led a never before used communication strategy from the official social media handle of a former Union minister and member of parliament. We decided to use ‘memes’as a medium to reach out to the millennial voters- to break the stereotype of the average Indian politician as someone who is not connected with the urban youngsters and who is stereotypically known as preachy and uninterested to understand the youth.
I construe this as one of my greatest accomplishments because Mumbai did see a proportionally high turnout of young voters compared to previous elections. The results of this campaign was phenomenal, as we saw the average engagement rate increase more than two-fold. This communications strategy I feel was my greatest accomplishment as engaging young students and the youth could unlock a crucial door- to a deeper dynamic between the youth and political processes in the country- a move I feel, that can spark greater accountability, better policies, and ultimately a stronger democracy.