The virtual reach

The virtual reach

Online campaigns

The virtual reach
Tired of indifference by the authorities, Bengalureans have taken to social media to talk about everything, including the piling waste, water shortage, bad roads, poor street lighting and vanishing water bodies. Social media has become the perfect place to carry forward a sustained campaign, gather public support and draw the attention of the authorities to  daily issues crying for urgent attention.

There are several groups such as Whitefield Rising, for instance, which are actively taking up civic issues online. Most of the members of these groups are young professionals who want to see visible changes in the city. They pro-actively post civic problems and also keep people informed about the positive developments if any.

Zibi Jamal, a member of Whitefield Rising, says their online campaigns are getting stronger by the day. “The issues that we post online and talk about are limited to Whitefield. It could be anything from the broken pedestrian paths, poor traffic management and irregular garbage collection to the upkeep of government schools in the vicinity. Our online campaigns get noticed by the authorities as well,” she says.

According to Zibi, their members comprise people from the area who are well informed about the problems. “We believe that our campaigns will make a positive impact only if we have support from the government. Posting our problems on social media adds strength to the cause,” she adds.

Shreya Das, a member of ‘Let’s be the Change’, feels that online campaigns related to social issues garner huge support. “We use our time and resources to clean up the city. Our online campaigns are two-fold. We use them to draw people’s attention to the cause and also call for volunteers. The response has always been overwhelming,” says Shreya. Another group that actively posts neighbourhood problems online and hopes to find a solution to the same is ‘Indiranagar Runners Club’.

Ratan Prasad and Ankita Gaur are the founders of the club. Ratan says, “People living in the vicinity took up the cause of rejuvenation of Yemlur Lake, located between the HAL Airport and Bellandur Wetland Complex. The online campaign began on a strong note and we had many people, including college-goers, participating in it. It did manage to generate a lot of interest among the people but unfortunately died down due to the lack of sustained efforts.”

Ankita pitches in, “Online campaigns are good as long as they can manage to hold the attention of the people and the authorities alike.”