“Did you know that Bangalore is the only Indian metro which has over 40% educated middle class voting population and that the vote swing occurs at a mere 12% votes in an election? Were you aware of the fact that your Voter ID card is not essential for voting?” Well, Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.PAC) will make sure that you know these and more! B.PAC was started in Feb 2013 by Ms. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Mr.T.A.Mohandas Pai, and boasts of many native Bangalorean celebrities among their board members.
Established with an aim to promote good quality life for all the citizens of the metropolis, B.PAC made an impactful good start with 2013 elections. The idea was just not to sit outside and wave red flag to the political system, but to take actions for towards 'How to get good politicians?'
Ms. Revathy Ashok, currently the COO of B.PAC, was worldwide CFO of Syntel, a US-based, NASDAQ-listed IT services company, and then MD of Tishman Speyer, PE Fund (USD 53 Bn AUM). Commenting on the current scenario she said, "System is so rotten that it doesn't allow a normal citizen to behave differently. Citizens who misuse the system get maximum benefit".
B.PAC activity chart can be summarised as follows:
1st layer: Getting all eligible voters to register for voting.
2nd layer: Cleaning the current voters list (with discrepancies like 4000 yrs and 6 yrs old voters) and restoring the lost data of 13 lakh Bangalorean voters which got deleted accidentally from voters list between 2008 and 2013.
3rd layer: Shortlisting candidates with the help of NLS lawyers after going through the affidavits of all the contestants. Endorsing them via constituency level debates, radio jingles, hoardings etc.
4th layer: Fund these candidates and make them sign development agenda to which they’ll be accountable.
5th layer: Civic awareness programs for the citizens and leaders:
- B-CLIP i.e. Bangalore-Civic Leadership Incubator Program: 9 month-long program with rigorous selection process to train the potential contestants with campaign running skills.
- B-FLI i.e. Bangalore-Future Leaders Initiative: 2 weeks program for the age group 16-21 years.
- Conducting a mock BBMP elections for students.
“B.PAC has often tried to bring political leaders, bureaucrats and citizens, all in one room through their fund-raising events,” mentioned Sujata Puranik, who’s leading on the marketing and communications for B.PAC. They are soon going to put the report-cards of the local leaders out in public for rating the same. Also, from the other side, an evaluation of the ward’s condition will also take place for further transparency.
B.PAC is mindful that they’re facing an uphill task and it’s not going to happen overnight. Though scaling up remains a big challenge in the longer run, B.PAC is happy to see the efforts like Ugly Indian, Green Lungi movement and would love to work together for a better quality of life in the city.
Website: Bangalore Political Action Committee(B.PAC)
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