On Blogathon and Barcamp

A session on "How to register to vote" in Barcamp; Blogging on traffic during Blogathon.

Barcamp [Apr 19 – 20]

I had gone to the Bommanahalli CMC today to help somebody submit Form 6. The BBMP control room lady was busy. Her colleague responded to my first question. When I asked for a clarification, he snapped, ‘I have lots of work, elections are coming up‘. Well, elections are the reason we were there too.

Agreed it is our duty as citizens to ensure we get on the voter rolls. It looks like sometimes, we have to go through some agni pariksha for this!

How many people can afford to take off from their work for hours to wait in long queues to get the EPIC card? Is it possible to issue Voter ID card to all the voters in the city in the last minute. Which systems, faulty ones at that can cope with this? Why are they even trying? Can the election commission not announce only those who don’t have other id proofs need to bother with the voter id card this time.

Actually if you are even at this point, wondering about the EPIC card, you are lucky. You are on the voter rolls! And you can just use some other id proof on the date of the election.

But how do you register yourself? If you did register, how do you know you are on the rolls? If you did know that the election commission had a site with the full rolls and where you can search, how do you use the inscrutable site?

So many of us have such questions and more!


When the organizers of Barcamp (an unconference to be held at IIMB this weekend) expressed interest in having a topic on voter registration to our writer Zainab Bawa, we thought it was a great idea.

We (Zainab & Subbu & myself) are planning an information poster session + discussion on this. For more info, see http://barcampbangalore.org/wiki/BCB6_Sessions.⊕

Blogathon [Apr 20-25]

The distance from my house to my office is about two and a half to three kilometers, depending on which route I take.

In that short distance (on main roads), I see:

  • Autos park on the corners of roads, so vehicles can’t take an easy left.
  • Bus stops are positioned right before a junction or after a junction. Even if they aren’t buses and other public use vehicles anyway stop there.
  • The majority of riders stop beyond the stop line.
  • A two foot pavement with trees in the middle, that leaves about a foot to walk on, are used to dump stone blocks (to be used for some drain construction)
  • There is a religious structure right on the pavement. Maybe that was built before the road was widened, but why is a dilapidated truck parked in parallel to that. And this has been there for years.

And I could go on and on. I am lucky. There are worse public spaces where people walk to work on narrow roads jostling and fighting for space with cycles, bikes, cars, buses, four-legged creatures …


Can things ever improve? The problem is not the lack of money to build more roads or better footpaths. The problem is the lack of sensitivity. And thoughtfulness for fellow citizens.

Where is the solution? The starting point would be to get people to think and voice their opinions.

That’s what Blogathon is doing. I am working with the Blogalorean group who have created this event where bloggers can get together (on the web) and raise their concerns, ideas and suggestions on these topics, including "How can we improve the traffic condition in our city?"

See http://blogathon.in for details on how to participate.

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