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DDB MudraMax's Operation Black Dot registers 40,000 first time youth voters

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MUMBAI: Operation Black Dot is an initiative by DDB MudraMax and Thincquisitive Foundation to help make voting easy, engaging and fun for the urban youth. Operation Black Dot has successfully brought about a shift in the way youth looked at voting. The team OBD by breaking down politics and making it more engaging and inclusive has effectively registered 40,000 first time youth voters to exercise their fundamental right.

The aim was to present conventional political discourse in a format which interests below 25 age group as well as explain important political events/facts. At one level the team worked in 60 campuses across the city, helping students make their voter IDs by use of cutting edge technology to quicken the process and at another also conducting such engagements to generate awareness leading up to the 2014 General Elections.

Process: From October through January, all six constituencies of Mumbai had a group of 10 campus ambassadors per college. Their task was to get students to make their voters’ ID card. Two cause ambassadors per constituency supported their outreach campaign. To simplify the process, the OBD team worked in collaboration with the Election Commission.

Hangouts: Given our current socio-economic and political scenario, 2014 general elections will play a key role in shaping the future of our country. Hence, every ‘thinking’ vote matters. Leading up to the date, OBD will help you understand current issues and interact with potential candidates in a manner which is relatable and interesting.

Operation Black Dot (OBD) hosted its very first Hangout with Priya Dutt (MP,Mumbai North Central) and latest with Mayak Gandhi, Member, Aam Aadmi Party at Bandstand Amphitheatre,Bandra West wherein students and young professionals from their constituency got a chance to have to engage with them to question,debate and deliberate as to how they can collaboratively find solutions to matters concerning them and their area in an informal setting. Through a series of such Hangouts with Elected representatives and candidates from other parties across the city, the team shall enable youngsters to make an informed vote in the upcoming 2014 general elections.

Said Pratap Bose, COO, DDB Mudra Group, "The whole concept of "Voting" has always been looked as an activity that is to be addressed and taken upon by the older generation. While it is the youth of our country who are going to play a significant role in building the Indian economy and tend to the future of our nation. It was hence important for us to not only change the face of voting, to make it appealing to the youth,  but also provide guidance, help them understand the nature of politics and also reiterate the fact that they can make a difference. This is what we set out to do with Operation Black Dot, and today it gives me immense joy to know that we've registered 40,000 first times voters, in our maiden year! I only wish to see this number grow and reach out to more citizens next year."

Said Samyak Chakrabarty, Founder of Operation Black Dot & Chief Youth Marketer, DDB Mudra Group, “Operation Black Dot has been able to successfully convey that political discourse does notalways have to be conventional and can be disseminated in a format which appeals to theyounger generation. From putting Member of Parliaments on a Bean Bag at youth hangouts to catchy videos on complex parliamentary affairs, we are making an attemptto bridge the gap between policy makers and young citizens. Going forward, our intent is to continue this movement and find more innovative methods to keep young India engaged with political affairs."

Said Mandeep Malhotra, President, DDB MudraMax,"Today, the demographics of India shows that 50% of the population is under the age of 25 years and more than 65% below 35-years of age. With this staggering figure in mind, Operation Black Dot aims to give the opportunity to young India to develop the nation from where it is today.  They are the future. Hence, these are the most exciting times for the first time voter. The youngsters have already realized their importance and are slowly starting to learn the ideologies of politics. For me on the other hand, it has been a great experience contributing on-ground, learning and observing. I felt like being the guy on the outside watching youngsters being wooed and educated about politics in India. They were all buzzing with exuberance and excitement to get there voters ID Cards and attend the sessions."

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