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A book of demands, if you will please



photo courtesy: OneIndia

Roshan Sageer, NSoJ Bureau

NSoJ Election Special

The Karnataka Assembly elections are just around the corner, and people across the state are brewing with curiosity. Who will win the elections this time? Will it be the Congress, BJP or JD(S)? Regardless of the result, the government has to provide answers to its citizens and fulfill their requirements. In light of this, Civic Bangalore- a forum set up for the empowerment of its people- released a manifesto of the demands of the people of Karnataka from all walks of life at SCM House. The event also included an interactive session with Mr. PGR Sindhia from JD(S), Mr. GN Nagaraj (CPIM), Mr. Ashwin Mahesh (AAP) and Ms. Pushpa Z (Svaraj party), who talked about the proposed manifesto and how they plan to go about addressing the concerns of the people. The Manifesto covered various aspects of societal interests including the rural, urban and communal needs. Food, transport, education, healthcare, labour issues are some of the other matters mentioned in the manifesto. It states that "Our desire is to make a difference to the politics of the state by actively engaging in the perspective building of political manifestos in the coming elections of the state and later aim at working with the state and its agencies in shaping the governance structures.

Talking about the need to empower the citizens of the state, Ms. Karthyayini Chamaraj, Executive Trustee of Civic Bangalore says, " For 24 years we have been working on implementing the 74th constitutional amendment Nagara Palika Act. We also work with 10 slums in Bengaluru and strive to improve their conditions with respect to food, sanitation, education, and health. We use the Right to Information Act to get the citizens charter from various government departments. We then prepare booklets that contain information on their entitlements- for that is the first step to be taken."

The manifesto which took over two months to complete was the result of work done by several networks that took the initiative to understand and dwell deeper into the need and right of the people of the state. Speaking of the work done Karthyayini added," We have a network of organisations that are working with the marginalised across the city and even the state. Before the election period, we ask them to give in each sectoral demand. The current manifesto took us two months to prepare. We make changes to our previous manifesto and remove demands that have been met with new ones." Karnataka certainly has a lot of issues that it needs to be resolved. The work of such organisations continues to bring us closer to the promises made to us by those above.