The latest trend for this season is going to be voting. Elections are approaching and this is the time for us to bring in some positive changes. Milind Deora, who is one of the youngest MP to be elected to the Parliament has come out with a unique opportunity for youngsters with hisVolunteer program. What impresses me about him is his tireless no-nonsense approach to working. No policy mumbo-jumbo; just keep hunting till you find the root cause of the problem and fix it.

He is someone who knows one cannot accomplish everything in one term. He understands the need to roll up sleeves, do the hard work, stay committed and knows that if you take voters for granted, you will not last. Something other MP’s should learn.

He has been personally visiting different colleges urging the students to be part of the system and do their part of making the changes which they want to see. We recently caught up with him at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Urging the students to join his Volunteer program, he says, “Democracy is not a panacea – it is hard work and relies on participation or it is effectively hijacked. I as a Politician try to make a great effort to relate to young voters. Through my Volunteer program I am making an effort to get as many youngsters as possible out to vote and be involved with me and help me in these upcoming elections. There are some who want to get active in mainstream politics while some apolitically want to volunteer to take part in Political campaigns.

People have different choices which is why flexibility is very important. That is for them to decide but my aim is to build a group of people who can send the message. Every candidate has to reach to the maximum people in a small amount of time. Volunteers will be my voice. India has the biggest democracy in the world and they will get to witness how the elections are held.”

There are facts to back up his development claims. Since the time Milind Deora has taken charge of the IT Ministry the number of net users has increased from 10 000 in 2005 to 25 crores. His aim is to see a computer or laptop and mobile in everyone’s hand. He is one of the most successful MP hands down.

About what he expects from his volunteers, he says, “Young understand net and mobile as they relate and connect through those. I am proud that people have an easier access to them now. At a large level every volunteer will have to find a way to convince people. As a volunteer they will see and hear different opinions. Every volunteer will have to find a way to modify. No party or person is perfect. I fundamentally believe that the good we done has outdone bad. Some tricky issues will always be there where people don’t want to listen. You have to explain that we are trying to improve. We have something unique. Every party has some agenda based on religion, language but we don’t have any agenda. We are working only for the development of this country as a whole.

As we move along we will find ways to make it more effective. Every voter is important. Inundated with media voice makes it tough for them to make a clear choice but I am hopeful that the voters will be wise enough to differentiate between who’s good and who’s pretending to be good.

Parliamentary election is largely based on national issues but there are local concerns also. Debate is about India as a whole. Talent has to be elected from people and those people will form govt. US is top down approach but in India we have a bottom up approach as MP’s decide who forms the govt. A person can like A or B in the Centre but ultimately it’s the local MP who is important as he will take his voice to the government.”

Milind Deora is definitely a fine, intelligent, energetic person who functions very well in a political setting. Hopefully many of youngsters out there will grab this opportunity of working with his team.
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