Aaj Tak readies on-air campaign to urge people to vote

MUMBAI: After the blitzkrieg, comes the angle of social responsibility. May be, President APJ Abdul Kalam's message on pubcaster Doordarshan too acted as a catalyst as news channels have jumped onto the bandwagon of tickling the conscious of the hoi-polloi to arouse them to the importance of voting and elections.

With the first phase of polling for the general elections 2004, which would ultimately result in the election of 543-members to the Lok Sabha (the Lower House of Parliament) slated to start off tomorrow, Aaj Tak has uneiled multi-part social advertising campaign exhorting the electorate to cast their votes.

While Star News says it is already airing such social service messages in association with an English language newspaper, Aaj Tak's feels that the latest initiative is to not only provide the latest and best of news coverage to its viewers, but also be front-runner when it comes to the needs of the society and the nation, at large.

The on-air communication is targeted at the people at large along with a special emphasis on encouraging the youth of the country to exercise their franchise.

The communication includes a series of short celebrity films christened Mera Vote Anmol featuring youth icons like Jassi, Jaaved Jaaferi, John Abraham, etc. These films are based on the celebritys own inimitable style and urge the viewers to caste their vote in the interest of the country.

In addition, Aaj Tak has also prepared another film inspired by the freedom struggle, which encourages youth voting. This film takes inspiration from the sacrifices by the youth during the independence struggle. Using that setting, it communicates a poignant message that all that the country asks for from the youth of India is not self-sacrifice but participation in its destiny through an invaluable vote. Shot with that background and armed with a moving script, the film seeks to make the youth stand up and take notice.

Also as a part of the same initiative, there is a set of three more films that highlight the complacency and indifference of the common man towards the voting process. Using stereotypes of common people, the film explores regular excuses for absenteeism at polling booths such as Election Day being a holiday etc. to communicate the message that its the responsibility of the citizens of the nation to vote and thus ensure its progress. The film is woven around the motto of Aapka Desh, Aapka Vote, Aapka Channel, Aapka Faisla.

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