COIMBATORE: It took a team of 200 volunteers and a fortnight to complete compiling information about candidates in the various constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The app is christened Arappor Iyakkam or API and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store, say sources.
“The aim of the app is to make available information about candidates contesting in the Lok Sabha elections in the respective constituency under one platform, so that the public can make an informed choice and thus elect the right candidate,” Jayaram Venkatesan convener of initiative told DC over the phone.
Ever since it was launched in the second week of April, the app has already crossed over 50,000 downloads. Users no longer have to go around looking for information about the candidates in their constituencies as the tool provides details like education and professional qualification of the candidate, criminal cases against the candidate if any, annual income of the candidate for the last five years besides assets and liabilities of the respective candidate. T
The information pertaining to each candidate is derived from the data declared by the respective candidate in the affidavit. The organisation who is responsible for creating the app strongly believes in transparency in democracy and the importance of educating and empowering the citizens of the largest democracy of the world to make an informed and responsible choice while exercising their right to vote.
“Powers are in the hands of people. It is for the citizens of the nation to use them responsibly,” Jayaram said. The organisation that has created the user-friendly app has used the various social media tools extensively and other means in order to spread awareness about the app so that more number of people take advantage of it and benefit from the same.
The app has many takers from the textile city, including first time voters. “I was not aware that independent candidates also can contest elections. Thanks to the app I know who to vote for and why,” Atul Aggarwal, a first time voter from Coimbatore said. What the app lacks is educating the public about the 'None Of The Above (NOTA)' option. “We do not tell the public whom to vote for. We insist that people should cast their vote responsibly,” Jayaram said....