Over 30,000 ‘Nandini’ milk packets produced daily at the Mysuru Milk Union here carry a ‘key poll’ message – Your Vote, Your Right – to push people to cast their ballot without fail.
As milk is an essential commodity and KMF is the largest supplier of milk to households, the election authorities ensured the message was printed on milk sachets to educate voters on compulsory voting. The messages were being printed for one week now in Mysuru. Similar steps may have been taken by milk unions in other parts of the State.
The Election Commission has set a target of over 75% voter turnout on May 12 by organising numerous activities to bring more number of voters to polling booths through Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP).
K Shivalinge Gowda, Managing Director, Mysuru Milk Union, said the compulsory voting message is being printed only on homogenised milk (blue packets) and this will continue till May 12.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) in Mysuru is also not lagging behind in voter awareness. Posters on compulsory voting are up on over 300 buses plying between Mysuru and other cities and 200 buses plying on intra-city routes in Mysuru city. Also, tickets issued to every passenger are carrying messages in Kannada such as ‘May 12 Randu Mathadana Maduva Moolaka Nimma Hakkannu Chalaayisi’ (Exercise your right by casting your vote on May 12).
Posters of cricketer Rahul Dravid, who is the brand ambassador for the Karnataka elections, carrying messages on voting rights have also been pasted on buses.
Vasu, KSRTC Divisional Controller (Mysuru Rural), said the posters are near bus doors to draw passengers’ attention. “The commuters cannot miss the messages. I’m sure the effort will improve poll percentage,” he stated.
The buses have donned the role of ‘poll messengers’ as they ply across the State and are able to reach out to a maximum number of people who travel in them.
The Chamundi Hills, prominent landmark of Mysuru and popular tourist attraction, is also being used to increase voter participation. A huge ‘welcome’ sign atop the hills greets tourists during Dasara after dusk. A giant sign has been created on a portion of the hills using 4,000-plus LED bulbs that carries a message in Kannada – ‘Nimma Matha, Nimma Hakku’ (Your Vote, Your Right). From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the sign will be lit up until the eve of the elections on May 11.