He was willing to incur losses, but Suresh Devade, an auto driver from Mumbai, wanted people who voted in the civic elections to “feel special.”
Encouraging people to come out and vote in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the Andheri-based autorickshaw driver put up a poster on his vehicle that read: “Vote kiya hai toh ungli bataiye aur rickshaw mein safar karke aadha kiraya dijiye.” (Show your inked finger and pay half the fare).
“It is important to vote and this is my small effort to create awareness about this,” said Suresh, according to Mid-Day.
While he does not remember how many people used his auto rickshaw to commute and availed the discount, he says that most were shocked to be asked whether they had cast their ballot – which, he says, was the first thing he asked after accepting passengers.
The auto driver felt that his initiative might have made people feel like they should have exercised their franchise, and cast their vote instead of expressing dissatisfaction about the elected leaders.
While some were disappointed about not being able to avail the offer as they were yet to vote, many others lauded his efforts and said they would pay the entire amount.
In the final results, the Maximum City saw the Shiv Sena leading with 84 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party winning 82 seats.