Loksatta to have a 'watchman' in every ward
11 March 2010
Loksatta today announced the launch of its 'Ward Watchman' programme in the city, to build a wide base of people who are interested in civic affairs, become knowledgeable about problems in their area through their continued participation in finding solutions, and thereby emerge as leaders in their neighbourhoods and wards over a period of time.
Under the Ward Watchman programme, a party member would become responsible for tracking the civic, economic and social problems in his area, and thinking of solutions to these. The Ward Watchman will also work with elected representatives, public officials and citizens in the ward to push for solutions to these problems. The single objective of this program is to create a pathway by which citizens who are passionate about good governance and ideas can begin to do important work at a local level first, and use that experience to become more and more confident and knowledgeable.
"Like many others, I too want a government which is citizen-centric. Our governments and leaders should inspire us to participate in civic affairs. But I did not know enough about politics. I did not know where to begin", says Mr. Deepak C N, the first Ward Watchman in the program, who will be the Watchman for Herohalli ward. Along with Mr.Deepak there were several others inducted as Ward Watchmen in Bangalore (see link below).
"I think this is a really good idea, and I already see many others volunteering to be the watchmen in their wards. If we do this for a few years the level of civic interest, knowledge and activism will rise a lot everywhere in the city," said Mr. Deepak. He compared the Ward Watchman program to some other collective efforts. "Even a 1000-mile march must start with one small step. What we are doing is like building anthills and beehives - good examples of coordination and purposeful activity. If each individual ant or bee did not do its part, there won't be anthills or beehives to talk about. But with a little bit from everyone, there can be a lot for all of us to cherish".
Loksatta is participating in the forthcoming BBMP elections by putting up candidates in six wards. It is gearing up to play a much greater role as a political party, to promote value-based political activity. It is now putting in place the grass-root level building blocks for this effort. In many cities and towns, the Ward Watchmen will be the pivots of the party. They will learn the ropes by working on local civic issues - roads, water, electricity, public transport, education, footpaths, local law and order etc.
Loksatta will guide and help them. The party will use its member network, as well as its links with upright officials and smart politicians to help its Ward Watchmen to show concrete results in their areas, and build a reputation for public service. They will thus understand the genuine difficulties in political work, and become prepared for a bigger role in due course - as party candidates in future elections at various levels.
Contact your Ward Watchman:
Loksatta invites all those interested in its Ward Watchman program to contact Mr.Deepak at 9449559451 / email@example.com. Residents in each of the wards are also encouraged to be in touch with their Ward Watchmen, and collaborate with them to address civic problems in their areas.
64/1 Jayamahal Extn 1st Main, Bangalore. - firstname.lastname@example.org