Budget carrier SpiceJet has commissioned an initiative to facilitate voters to fly home so that they cast their vote. The airline said that it will bear the cost of one way and return tickets for citizens who want to partake in the democratic process.
Naming the initiative, #SpiceDemocracy, the airline has opened participation starting January 30, falling right in line with the February 8 Delhi Assembly elections.
For a Delhiite living outside of Delhi and wanting to fly back home to cast their ballot in the upcoming elections, all she/he needs to do is register on their website, and write a post from their Twitter/Facebook/Instagram handles on what inspires them to vote.
If shortlisted, the individual needs to book a roundtrip air ticket to Delhi on a SpiceJet flight and make the payment, with date of departure being February 7-8, 2020 and date of return being February 8-9 2020, using the link that will be sent across by SpiceJet.
The airline has declared that it will bear the expense of the round trip if the date of departure and return is February 8, the day that Delhi goes to vote. However, it will bear the cost of a one-way ticket if their departure date is February 7 and date of return is February 9, 2020.
However, the airline will only bear the cost of the base fare of the air ticket. All applicable taxes, surcharges, levies and any other additional costs will be incurred by the individual.
To ascertain that an individual has voted, he/she will have to upload a picture of their finger marked with indelible ink from their social media handles.
The initiative, the airline claimed, will help “millions of Indians” who do not live in their home towns and are in another city/state for higher studies or work.
Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, a report published in The Times of India claimed that over 280 million Indians, who had a vote – i.e. those who were 18 years of age and had their names listed in the electoral list – could not cast their vote.
The primary reason for that was that most of these people were not physically present in the constituency from where they are registered to vote, a pre-requisite to cast the ballot.
As per Census 2011 data, around 454 million Indians are classified as migrants, i.e. citizens who are not living where they were born. Of these, 46 million are believed to have moved because of jobs, 224 million (mostly women) because of marriage, over 4 million for business, and over 8 million moved for education.
It is these migrants that the airline is attempting to target, going with a tagline, “There’s only way to make democracy work. Show up at the election day to cast your vote.”
“So, get on board, people of Delhi. Democracy needs you,” the budget carrier wrote as a punchline in its advertisement for the campaign.