City Pulse


June 10, 2014 By Team ICMYC
Venkatesh is an Area Voter Mitra in Shantinagar and has registered around 750 new voters and looks for opportunities to build solidarity in one’s community by means of volunteering. 
Venkatesh, an Area Voter Mitra begins his day with his work as a screen printer and later involves himself in social activities that carry a unique value for the people in his neighbourhood. He is an active social worker in the area apart from being an Area Voter Mitra at Rachappa Gardens in Shantinagar. 
AVMs are primarily trained to register voters. This requires a thorough ground work of identifying the individuals who are not registered as voters and those individuals whose voter IDs have lapsed due to various reasons. 
The Area Voter Mitra programme is an initiative of Janaagraha, which attempts to clean up the electoral rolls in a given constituency. This initiative is driven by the idea of giving a legitimate choice to a citizen to elect his or her representatives. 
This is the cause that drew Venkatesh to volunteer and to become an AVM. He feels social work gets him the kind the recognition that money cannot provide. He even organizes a community association – ‘Shantinagara BR Ambedkar Yuvakara Sangha’ that aspires to cater to the economically weaker sections of society. 
Apart from being an AVM, he is also an Area Suraksha Mitra (ASM) a community policing initiative of Janaagraha. Both these roles have provided him a platformm to offer his services to the community.
He has the unique accomplishment of having registered around 750 voters in the Shantinagar constituency during the recently held state assembly elections. He had himself filled up all these forms based on related documents and had it delivered to the officials concerned. He feels he could fill these forms without giving any scope for confusion for the voter. He understands that many are illiterate and even the literate could make some simple mistakes which might lead to the form being rejected . 
Venkatesh believes in partnering with the government in its efforts to improve governance. If you are one of those cynical individuals who likes blaming the government, think again!