“There are two kinds of people – one who let things go on as they are, and another, who take up the responsibility to change things for the better,” said one character in the mega hit ‘Rang De Basanti’. Over time, Janmat has changed the way citizens engage with their leaders and make them accountable for their actions. The channel is now ready to take on bigger issues. Reinforcing its commitment to be a channel of the people, for the people and by the people, the channel has now come up with a campaign called Janmat Abhiyaan.
The campaign, which was launched in Mumbai from June 23, 2006, is a movement that involves the citizens of the metropolis to connect with their conscience and join in the fight for justice.
The issue at hand for the first salvo is the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and its inability to manage the roads and public infrastructure in Mumbai. Recently on the channel, when MMRDA’s work at various hot spots was under the scanner, it was found that corruption, sub-standard work, mishandling of funds and laxity in meeting targets was rampant within the organisation. In fact, when a Janmat camera team approached a public road repair area to shoot for their story, an engineer forbade the camera team from shooting. The MMRDA’s attitude was that roads were ‘their own property’.
Janmat plans to mobilise the people of the city to launch a large signature campaign that will enable the channel to make each citizen a participant in the march for justice.
Offering his take on the campaign, Markand Adhikari, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network Ltd, said, “We firmly believe that such issues are not only to report in media for a day and create excitement. We want to take these issues to the logical end.”
Terming Janmat as an electronic NGO, Adhikari said, “Janmat is a not a regular reporting news channel, we are a niche channel, which is here to raise the voice of the people. We will not just report on issues but also create and gather public opinion and compel the authorities to take action.”
He added that the campaign was the beginning of the channel’s philosophy and indicated that Janmat would take up grave issues concerning people by way of more campaigns in major cities across India. The next cities to follow include Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Kolkata.
As part of the Abhiyaan, in the first leg, five mobile groups will travel the length and breadth of Mumbai and collect signatures from the citizens. In the second leg, this ongoing campaign will continue and form the basis of a memorandum that will be presented to the Chief Minister.