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Babajob helps Bangalore voters find where to vote



Citizens' groups and dotcoms set up call centres to answer all your poll-related questions

A consortium of online companies and citizens' groups have set up a call centre for poll-related queries. The call centre numbers are 080-33-555-555 and 080-4262 2777.

The call centre has been set up by SmartVote, a citizens' group that encourages people to vote and stay informed about the polling process, in partnership with Namma Bengaluru Foundation, a non-profit trust, AskLaila.com, a local search company, and Babajob, a Bangalore-based startup which helps to employ people in the unorganised sector.

The first call centre, set up by AskLaila.com, will work from 10am on Saturday to 5pm on Sunday.

The second, set up by Babajob.com, will work from 12 noon to 8pm on Saturday and from 8am to 5pm on Sunday.

People who can't find their names on the voters' lists or those whose names have been spelled incorrectly or those who do not know where to go and cast their vote can call up the call centre.

The call centre has access to downloaded voter data and a Smartvote volunteer will help find your name and where to vote, said Prithvi Reddy of SmartVote. “Only a minority of Bangaloreans can check their names in the voters' lists online. That is why we thought of a call centre,” he said.

The call centre will have 20 people -- 10 from Asklaila.com and 10 from Babajob.com. “We are trying to get 100 more volunteers to work at the call centre,” said Reddy.

AskLaila.com CTO Balkrishna Birla said extra staff members will work on the weekend to cater to the volume of poll-related calls. Callers must tell volunteers their area of residence, name and house number to enable a reply, he said.

Sean Blagsvedt, founder and CEO, Babajob, said that his staff would come in to work on Saturday and Sunday to take poll-related calls. He said he agreed to the idea of setting up the call centre after it was suggested by Ashwin Mahesh, founder of Mapunity, a tech company that deals with social initiatives, and member of Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development Task Force (ABIDe).

Blagsvedt, an American who has been in Bangalore for the last six years, said, “We are just doing our part. We want to encourage people to go and vote. We helped set up the call centre because the place to vote has changed (since the last polls) and people are likely to be confused.”

http://www.bangaloremirror.com/article/10/201003272010032705112073329353229/Dial-for-doubts.html
Mar 28, 2010
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