"I have never voted before, but I will go cast my vote this time."
(A 70 year old grandmother)
"I know all about Arvindji, so I did not hesitate to let you in when I saw the hats"
(A 30 yr old lady)
The feedback we are getting from our door-to-door campaign is incredible. People know that this time things are different. They are comfortable opening their houses to us, offering us water, apples, and love to chat about politics.
Before I embarked on this campaign, I had done a google search on effective door-to-door campaigns. One thing I had noted (these were all US based sites) was that they had all said to spend not more than a minute per household. During our campaign though, we were sitting and listening and expounding on politics. I mentioned to the group that 15 minutes per household may be a bit excessive. They shrugged, "that's what it takes..."
I've thought about it some more since then. One thing we found very amusing was that when we pulled out voter lists, there would be upto 25-30 registered voters in a single house! This was because most houses had either large joint families or had made flats above their existing bungalow. So we may have spent extra time, but we had also garnered the vote of the entire clan!
Some anecdotes from today...
- A Sikh family we visited had guests over. We spent a lot of time discussing as a group why the perpetrators of the '84 Sikh massacre were still holding positions of power in the local Congress body instead of being in jail. How many other rapists, murderers, thieves and dacoits hold positions of power? (Answer: A lot)
- A highly irate Bengali lady answered our doorbell. "Too many people have written down my cell number only to bother me with SMSes all day and night!" We promised we wouldn't and explained who we were. "Oh, I'm done with politics! I did so much work first for the Congress, then the BJP, but we have nothing to show for it." She talked for a while about how exasperated she was with security, water quality, cow dung, and many other issues. We listened and tried to provide explanations of why things would be different with AAP. At the end she conceded, "My family was discussing politics last night and we all decided to vote for AAP anyhow."
Lots of such stories. Construction workers, cycle rickshaw drivers, domestic help, small shopkeepers called out to us as we walked through the street to tell us their stories of why they already support AAP. Incredible energy around it all.