In a small but significant way, this rickshaw driver has come up with a novel idea to encourage people to vote
Suresh Devade is out to show citizens that it pays to vote — the Andheri-based auto driver offered a 50% discount on rickshaw rides to all passengers with an inked finger to congratulate them for voting.'
"It is important to vote and this is my small effort to create awareness about this," said Devade, who began his day early yesterday, to encourage as many voters as he could.
People were surprised to spot a large poster on the back of his auto rickshaw, advertising a 50% discount on fares if they had voted. Devade could not remember how many passengers hired his rickshaw in total, and how many got the discount. But he very well remembers shocked faces of people when he asked them whether they had voted – his first question after accepting any passenger.
"The ride might be for a short or long distance, but the scheme will be the same. I might face a loss but I want people to feel special after voting. This may also make others feel like they should have voted. Even if people go out and vote for such attractions alone, it will be good. More people should vote instead of only complaining about elected leaders," he said.
mid-day spoke to one of his passengers, Andheri-resident Sikkat Rajput, who was not able to avail the offer because he was yet to vote. But he appreciated Devade's initiative: "I am just going to my polling booth in this rickshaw. It is a great thing that Devade is doing. It is very important to vote."
There were also quite a few voters who congratulated Devade for such a noble initiative but still insisted on paying the full fare. "There were a few good people who told me that I had started a good initiative and they wanted to support it by paying the full fare. They had voted and so I offered to take only half the fare. But they insisted on paying the full amount and congratulated me," said Devade.