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Tatas rev up vote drive

Faced with the 2009 embarrassment of less-than-half voter turnout in two urban Assembly segments of Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat — the rest four being a semi-rural and rural mix — Corporate Inc is nudging people firmly to cast their franchise on April 17.

Five years ago, Jamshedpur East recorded 44 per cent and Jamshedpur West 38 per cent in terms of voter turnout. The state’s average stood at nearly 51 per cent.

This time, Tata Steel has put up hoardings of managing director T.V. Narendran, Everester icon Bachendri Pal and archery sensation Deepika Kumari, appealing to voters to cast their votes on April 17.

Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco, which looks after civic amenities in the company’s command area covering urban pockets, tied up with an FM radio station, put up hoardings and also sent emails to customers requesting them to exercise their adult franchise.

Jusco managing director Ashish Mathur made voter awareness a campaign with their Zimmedar Nagrik, Zimmedar Shahar. “The city boasts high educational standards with 183 schools and 13 colleges, including the likes of XLRI, MGM and NIT. Urban literacy rate is among the highest in India with 87.5 per cent. Please let’s all vote,” Mathur said.

Jusco hoardings talk about literacy rates being among the highest but voting figures among the lowest in India. Jusco tied up with FM radio for vote-friendly jingles to be aired from Wednesday.

Making its priorities clear, Tata Steel Zoological Park has announced it would keep shutters down on April 17, and as compensation, keep it open on April 21, the following Monday. Usually, the animal habitat is closed on Mondays according to Central Zoo Authority guidelines.

Tata zoo director Bipul Chakraborty told The Telegraph on Tuesday that they decided to close the facility on April 17 for two or three reasons.

“One, we wanted to help our staffers vote. Two, we wanted to generate awareness among potential visitors about the importance of voting. Three, via our hoardings at entrance and exit gates announcing the zoo’s closure on April 17 and requests for votes, we are hoping for word-of-mouth publicity,” he said.

Urban services unit, Tata Steel, staged nukkad nataks. These will go on till April 12.

Why do educated urban professionals vote less?Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com


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