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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hazare's campaign powered by mobile phones

Scores of people from different walks of life from across the country have come forward in support of veteran Gandhian Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign "India Against Corruption."

His supporters, apart from email and public forum, are using mobile to galvanise and create awareness among general public demanding a more stringent anti-corruption law in the country, a great example of how mobile technology can facilitate activism and empower citizens.

The activists are demanding amendment of Jan Lokpal Bill as the legislation proposed by the government was not adequate and lacked teeth, and setting up of a joint committee comprising representatives of the government and civil society to formalise the bill.

Anna's supporters have come out with a unique way to tap the support of mobile users. Anyone who wants to lend support to Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign just need to place a missed call to +912261550789 to stand against corruption and as of now more than 25 lakh missed calls were registered.

The call gets automatically rejected and you'll receive a confirmation SMS message saying, "Please do fast against corruption on 5th April and come to Jantar Mantar - India Against Curruption."

The movement is spreading like a wild fire across the nation and people from different states who are spearheading the movement are also using mobile in a big way to spread awareness and urge people to join the movement.

Prabhu, who is a professor in Chennai and actively participating in the campaign said, "Since morning I have received more than 1,000 calls where people have pledged support to the campaign."

On using the medium of SMS, he said, "I have sent around 40 SMSes asking people to join the movement and after that people on their own are forwarding to all the people in their address book and they are not even thinking twice before doing so."

Manoj S Menon, who works with Indian Railway in Kochi, said, "Since Kerala will be going to polls shortly Lot of permission are required for holding a protest march and we are trying to figure out a way but in the meantime. Mobile, which is a very strong mode of communication, is being used extensively by people from different walks of live on their own to catalyze the public against corruption."

Lt Col (retd) Shashi Anand, who is organizing a solidarity meet in Pune, said, "I am not a technology buff but I am using SMS as a way of adding momentum to support anti-corruption moment and I will also send SMS to all the ex-service men in my database urging them to join the movement."

Apart from that there are many pages have been created on Facebook to give vent to people's feelings on corruption and support Hazare's campaign and around one lakh people have clicked 'like' Hazare's 'India Against Corruption' page on Facebook, called 'Indiacor'.

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