Jaago re! the online initiative of Tata tea, that started off with a bang.

I was initially extremely happy & on the recommendation of a couple of friends signed up with enthusiasm in December.

Impressive is the only word I could describe the initial experience. The details were entered, form printed; information of dates etc. was prompt, being emailed, text.

Finally, the ground realities – Tried calling up the versova election office where vague postal address was given. The numbers were disconnected (probably bill not paid by the election officer). The reason of wanting to call instead of going personally was the expectation built up; metro work stopping/diverting vehicular traffic on an already One way. After a week or so, managed to get through – ” Bhavans College ke baaju mein, kisiko bhi puuncho”.

Off I went, vehicular traffic made it impossible to park, so back again.

A couple of a days later went in a Rik. A Q extending all the way back….After some 45 minutes, when my turn came, I was informed that this window catered to Versova 165 whereas I had to go to Versova 164. Hot, tired & having to go another place, I left.

Today March 17, 2009 went all geared up, dressed casually, carrying a Cap, in a rickshaw.

Saw the outside, people sitting……

After being shunted a couple of times; managed to get in the line at the correct window. There were a dozen & half people ahead of me, most of them carrying a sheaf/bunch of forms to my 2 forms:) Upon asking, I was told that they organized the forms in proper order & helped people (brokers or party workers in simple terms). After nearly an hour of standing in the heat, reached the window, with just one person in front of me; who had some 50 forms. And there was a discussion going on – “Date barobar nahi hai”; “School leaving certificate nahi hai”; “Ration Card mein Zaheer likha hai, idhar Zaheeda hai” – made one think whether the people named on the forms exist or not.

Finally a compromise was reached, when the party worker said – “Aap form acknowledge kar lo” mein yeh sab leke aata hoon! AND I am like WTF……

Anyway, MY TURN…..the gentleman gets up & disappears…….whilst I am just looking at the window & inside……

The long Q behind me starts shouting at me – “Where is he?; When is he coming?; What happened? etc” Anger & humor both hit me at the same time – I mean, how am I supposed to know….or answer any of these.

Finally I asked the other gentleman who was sitting on the table behind the window to get a sarcastic answer – “Aapke samne toh gaya hai! Insaan hai, thak jaata hai:) Great in just 1.30 min of work he is tired & we are supposed to stand outside in the sun:)

So, he returns, looks at my forms & informs me – these won’t work. Yeh sab internet wallah form nahi jalega. Politely & humorously utilizing my entire vocabulary of Marathi (25-30 word & 5 sentences) manage to understand the following:

1) Jaago re forms are for our use & not Election Office.

2)  If you wish, you can attach 1 photograph on the form & 1 photograph on the other form (which they give) & submit.

3) You need to have a Pan Card or Driving Licence copy attached.

4) You need to have a Ration Card copy with your name or Passport Copy with your name for address proof.

DUH! DUH! Why both??? Pan Card & Driving Licence do not have complete address so the other is required! But If Ration Card is there, then why? – Names are unclear on the ration card:)

5) AND then you need to get a COPY of VOTERS CARD from any one in your building/society; since then only it become easy for them….

6) After all this you need to get all this attested by a Special Executive Magistrate – helpfully, if you do not have then they are sitting outside also!!!!

If nobody in the building or society does not have a Voters Card; then you cannot vote!!!!

So any way, returned after an enlightening 4 hours spent there. During this time was also tweeting this information, where in my friend @TusharG has the following advice

@anaggh The best way to get on to the Voters list is to go to Tehsildar’s office spend 30 min and walk out with list of requirements.

(Sure but it is not likely to be different than what this guy has given me)

@anaggh Next best go to your MLA, Corporator or MP’s office and ask them to help enrole you, no hassles.

(@TusharG Even worse, The F…..s are never available)

@anaggh Worst thing Jagore is doing is they arn’t informing that those who register after 1st Jan 2009 will not be alowed to vote in this election. They may not be able to vote in the Assembly elections later this year.

It is surprising to see Jaago re! claiming 450711 awakened all india & some 105000 approx awakened in Mumbai with the target of 1 billion votes —— something is not working somewhere.

So there ends the story – Will keep this updated!!! In the meantime enjoy the photographs as well as the form!!!!

Related Websites : MumbaiVotes; Praja; Agni; NO Criminals