Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Report from The Second Never Forget Pune Chapter Meet

The Second Never Forget Pune Chapter Meet

Saturday, 28th March 2009

Venue: The Corinthians Club, Pune

Minutes of the Meeting

Attendees:

Special Guests: Anupam Saraph, Ranjit Gadgil, Col. Chaudhary, Col. Nadkarni, Monika Trivedi, Prof. Krishnayya

Volunteers: Salil Bijur, Major Sathe, Dinesh Hukumani, Anurag Jain, Anupama TD, Aboli Salvi, Aman Zaidi

The CIO of Pune, Mr. Anupam Saraph spoke first. He offered a wealth of ideas on what synergies exist & on what the way forward could possibly be. Here are some of the points he made:

§ Data: It’s easy for someone to discredit even verified data. One may discredit the source or produce another report from another source that claims different things/data/facts/figures.

§ Invite Political Parties & ER’s to upload the data themselves.

§ There is cost-saving in this for the Political Parties.

§ Use a Wiki model. (While Never Forget does exactly that, Mr. Saraph had other important things to point out):

a) Let ALL sources be quoted

b) Let the Wiki editors/volunteers take a call among themselves (assuming they will be from/working on one constituency, it may be easier for them to come to an informed decision/agreement, after sufficient thrashing out of the sources & the data?)

§ The Wiki model is “Of the People, By the People, For the People”!

§ Collaborate & Share data between both sites. Seek to function under one umbrella, sharing resources, yet maintaining the individual identities of the different initiatives.

§ Need “Jaagore” type of sponsorship to spread the word.

§ In response to Salil’s question: There is no clash between Never Forget and Beyond Voting as NF focuses on “Evaluatable Promises”, while BV focuses on “Continued Development”.

§ Create a page on Wikipedia on all sites with similar focus (eg. neverforget.in, ciopune.in, praja.org, beyondvoting.in, empoweringindia.org, punecorporation.org) Salil volunteered to complete this.

Mr. Ranjit Gadgil of Janwani, Door-Step (& Lead India) fame spoke next. He began by pointing out that:

§ If we Indians believe in the Democratic process, we should embrace it in its totality. He gave the examples of India’s poor being represented by smaller political outfits, resulting in the rights of these poor being protected; as opposed to the totalitarian regime in China where the poor don’t have a voice. (He gave quite a few examples which can be replicated in detail later for those who are interested.)

§ He also pointed out, that a candidate with a criminal record is of less worry, than the electorate that elects such candidates! He also added that the electorate is powerful enough to oust even an Indira Gandhi when it wants to. And replace anyone if it is unsatisfied.

§ He pointed out that our politicians, contrary to popular belief, by virtue of our system, are not totally unaccountable. They have to face elections every 5 years. That one fact may not do enough, but it does make them accountable to a certain degree. The greater problem lies with the Executive, our babus, who do not have to stand for re-election at all. They have the security of a Govt. job.

§ He stressed on the need for “Evaluation of the PMC by Citizens”. And hopefully get the Legislature to pass a law implemented for this.

Col. Chaudhari of the Nagrik Chetna Manch gave a presentation about the purpose & more importantly the achivements of his organization.

Salil Bijur & Anurag Jain gave an update on the translation of the PMC Commissioners Budget Speeches to source data on Mr. Kalmadi’s promises. Salil also gave a presentation on Mohalla Committees.

Major Sathe’s presentation focused on the irregularities in freedom fighter pensions & the plight of war martyr’s families.

Dinesh Hukumani related an inspring story about how he got into the Armed Forces as a young boy despite tremendous challenges. He drove home the point of keeping a positive outlook & perseverance.

Krishna Aradhi was unable to attend on account of ill health, but he sent a note which was read out in the Meet. He is busy working hard on data around the UPA Govt.’s promises (& on his exams).

Aboli Salvi, our new volunteer, suggested that a PowerPoint be put together to recruit volunteers in offices. She is willing to share the PowerPoint in her office & recruit people to the Never Forget cause. Aman takes on the responsibility of coming up with the PowerPoint.

Anurag Jain, probably our youngest volunteer, came up with the idea of Never Forget T-shirts. The idea was met with much enthusiasm. Aboli offered to use her experience for a good cause & work on the design. Dinesh volunteered to get a quote for the T-shirts from his contacts. Suggestions to try & get stores (big or small retailers/chains) to stock & sell the T-shirts were well received. This was hailed by all as a good way to not only create awareness but also to raise some funds for the NF initiative.

Suggestions on areas to focus on:

§ Follow up articles in the media.

§ Check MPLADS spend. The CAG audits this. If MP is being evaluated, the MPLADS too should be.

§ With recession, there is bench strength in the IT/ITES sector. Contact HR heads in theses organizations to get volunteers to key in data (or more?). (Mr. Saraph has already got cracking on this on his recent trip to Delhi)

Responsibility Matrix:

#

Task

Responsibility

Due by

Status

1.

Create Wiki page on all initiatives with similar objectives as Never Forget

Salil


Animesh has done it on the google groups site .

2.

Continue to collect data on Pune Lok Sabha seat

Never Forget Pune Volunteers


Ongoing

3.

Translate data available above from Marathi to English

Salil, Anurag others.


Ongoing

4.

Recruit volunteers from Offices. Prepare ppt to share in Offices.

Aboli

Aman


Not started

5.

Sell Never Forget T-shirts to generate interest & publicity.

- Finalize Design

- Get manufacturing quote

- Aboli Salvi

- Dinesh Hukumani


Animesh has a contact that does this over the web. Can evaluate that option too. Any updates from the others.


Special Thanks to our kind sponsors The Corinthians Club of the Nyati Group & their General Manager Mr. Arun Arora for making it all possible.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Calling Web Application Developers - Something YOU can do for NeverForget

Dear web-oriented members of the NeverForget Team.

As a results of discussions I have had with some of you over the past weeks, I now firmly believe that the website, which is the face of this initiative, is not very useful without data being there for the readers to see.

That said, the data won't be available until we are able to properly utilize the energies, times, and skills of our visitors and team-members.

Therefore, from from an "enabling" perspective, my first priority is to get a system running which will enable rapid collaboration to work on bite-sized tasks. The three responses we got to the help-us-translate-in-marathi request posted yesterday are a testament to the fact that such a system will be very useful.

To that end, I give to you, this new term:

Acton: act-on
n. Fundamental unit of action :)

The idea is to post actons on a system, and allow people to _easily_ search and volunteer for them. One constraint will be that each acton has an _upper limit_ on how much time it is expected to take. (e.g., 5 minutes for googling the status of Tamil as a classical language is great, while 1 month for collecting all the data on the UPAs promises is too large a grain, and needs to be broken down into a set of related actons).

The interesting part is, this problem is not unique to NeverForget, but is indeed faced by all voluntary organizations, where people want to contribute, but are not sure what the best use of their (limited) time is. Therefore, I have created a project on google code at http://code.google.com/p/sanjhachoolha , where we also have contributors not directly involved with Never Forget. I have also uploaded proposed screenshots of the application, which we have chosen to christen "sanjha choolha". Krishnakanth (LA) and Kunal (Bangalore) have already joined in to start this effort.

From the project website:

+++

Introduction

Sanjha Choolha : sān-jhā choo-lhā

n. A communal kitchen popular in the villages of Punjab

If you have worked in non-profits, you would have also felt that there are times when we cannot properly utilize the manpower available in enthusiastic volunteers. Sanjha Choolha aims to be a system to solve this fundamental problem.

+++

So dear web-application developers on this list, please visit the project site to know more about what the next steps are, and what skills are needed. If all goes well, we should be able to complete this piece of the puzzle in the next few weeks.

of course, comments and feedback are most welcome.

best wishes,
Animesh
Team Never Forget

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Know Marathi? Help in tracking promises by Suresh Kalmadi, MP from Pune

Hi All,

We have collected documentary evidence (in Marathi) substantiating the claims/promises in 2004-2009 manifesto of Suresh Kalmadi, sitting MP from Pune. These will be scanned and put up on the NeverForget gallery shortly. While our enthusiastic Pune volunteers Salil and Anurag have translated some the relevant sections of the docs from Marathi to English, we need more translating resources...so ALL you marathi literate friends kindly pitch in.

best wishes,
The NeverForget Team
P.S. Email anupama @ neverforget.in for more info/questions/volunteering

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Second Never Forget Pune Chapter Meet Saturday, 28th March,2009

[join this event on facebook here]

Dear ALL,

Apologies for the delay in forwarding the Agenda for tomorrows meet. See you all tomorrow!!!


The Second Never Forget Pune Chapter Meet
Saturday, 28th March,2009
3.00pm to 6.30pm
The Corinthian, NIBM



3.00 pm to 3.15 pm : Registration, Welcome ,Short Introduction to Never Forget for the benefit of guests and new comers by Aman Zaidi

3.15 pm to 3.30 pm : Presentation by Mr. Anupam Saraph, CIO-Pune after a brief introduction

3.30 pm to 3.45 pm : Discussion

3.45 pm to 4.00 pm: Presentation by Mr. Ranjit Gadgil, founder Janwani after a brief introduction

4.00 pm to 4.15 pm: Discussion

4.15 pm to 4.30 pm: Presentation by Col. Chaudhary of Nagrik Chetna Manch

4.30 pm to 4.45 pm: Tea Break

4.45 pm to 5.00 pm : Update/Presentation by Salil Bijur

5.00 pm to 5.15 pm: Update/Presentation by Uday Sathe

5.15 pm to 5.30 pm: Update/Presentation by Dinesh Hukumani

5.30 pm to 5.45 pm : Update/Presentation by Krishna Aradhi

5.45 pm to 5.55 pm : Update/Presentation Anurag Jain

5.55 pm to 6.20 pm: Open Discussion about Election Watch, Collaboration,Strategize

6..20 pm to 6.30 pm: Closing remarks

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mumbai Meet of NeverForget: March 28

[facebook event at this page. Please RSVP]

Hello NF-ians,

here are the final details for the first ever Mumbai Meet of Never Forget volunteers.

Date: 28th March 2009. (Saturday)

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Venue: Juhu Beach, next to Birla Garden. (Enter the lane next to erstwhile Tulip Star Hotel, and just next to Birla house on the right side, right at the beach, is Birla Garden.)

Directions: Coming from Western Railway local route, get down at Vile Parle Station, and take an auto-rickshaw for Tulip Star Hotel or Prithvi Theatre or more famously, Amitabh Bachchan's bungalow Jalsa. The lane mentioned is just across the traffic signal from Jalsa.

Agenda:

1. Formal opening of Mumbai Chapter, discussing and formulating NF plans vis-a-vis Mumbai.

2. Sharing lessons from Pune Chapter and general evolution of NF's idea.

3. Making volunteer teams from Mumbai for:

a) Data collection. (Manifestos and other evaluatable promises)

b) Data verification. (Using RTI, or simple journalism tools, or through contacts in media or other NGOs or even political circles)

*(DF govt's Maharashtra Manifesto is with us already and that could be a good starting point for this exercise.)


c) Data uploading, formatting, analytical articles.

d) Long term vision. (Collecting manifestos from all the candidates for the forthcoming elections, so as to start creating a database for the next term. Of course, only the candidates who go on to be elected remain in our database with their 'promises'.)

e) Following up and making contacts with other organizations and media for constant feeds and info sharing.

f) Media team, for publicizing the idea of NF through blogs, newspaper articles, and other relevant avenues.

4. Finalizing processes regarding timelines, constant updates, and regular meetings.

Please mark your schedulers, and confirm your attendance. The agenda items are not closed yet, so more ideas are welcome. Volunteers, enthusiasts from outside Mumbai are also welcome. Call me for any further queries or suggestions.

Hope to see a good turnout.

- Varun

NF Volunteer

Cell: 09324787632

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Celebrating One Month of Never Forget

Dear all,
One month ago, on Jan 26 2009, the never forget initiative was launched. In the past one month, we have had over 4000 site visitors, over 150 members in our facebook group, and most importantly, over 90 members in the team of volunteers. Not a bad start in my opinion :-).


As part of the celebrations of the first monthiversary, we have the following new developments to report:

1. The blog has a new look, and it now looks just like the main website :). Thanks to Krishnakanth for modifying the blogger template. His account of the process is here.
2. There is an _upcoming events_ section in the left navbar at the website now, and we have a volunteer meeting coming up in Pune on the 28th of Feb.
3. We were covered in today's edition of "Intellient Pune".
4. We are now in possession of the complete official manifesto of Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, the MP of Pune, provided by none other than his own staff!

And now, as always, is a set of options of what YOU can do to celebrate this event :). If not today, then how about during the weekend?

1. Create a page like Ajay has - listing his thoughts and plans. Amazing stuff in my opinion.
2. Go through the list of promises in Mr. Kalmadi's manifesto, and help us tabulate them.
3. Help us collect the complete list of MPs and MLAs in the country. I am sure there are websites with the info. We just need to make a clean spreadsheet out of it.
4. Spread the word about the site. Blog about it [again :-) ].
5. Pledge to take charge of your city/constituency. See the list for current leads.
6. Feel free to add to this list :)

cheers,
Animesh

Intelligent and in Pune!

Today's Intelligent Pune covered our initiative, just in time for the upcoming volunteer meet in Pune!

A special thanks to Vinita Deshmukh, editor of the Pune weekly and an activist, who not only published the write up but gave us some sound bytes of advice!




The first Never Forget Pune Chapter Meet

The first ever offline volunteers meet of the Never Forget initiative is scheduled on Saturday, the 28th February 2009, in Pune.

The Taj Blue Diamond, Pune has kindly agreed to sponsor the venue for the meet. The timing will 11am -2pm with a tea break in between.

Readers/volunteers who are in Pune or will be in Pune on the 28th, and have yet not confirmed their participation,please do so ASAP at anupama@neverforget.in or aman@neverforget.in. Alternately you can confirm your participation by responding to this post with your name and email address/telephone number.

So those of you who have not yet registered to volunteer, NOW is the time! :-)

The agenda of the meet would be rapport building,brainstorming and allocation of responsibilities for volunteers.

So people, what are you waiting for ! No time to waste!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An Encore!

We were featured today in the Indian Express, the Pune Newsline pullout.

We aim to draw as many eyeballs to this website and get them converted into volunteers for this initiative. So all you concerned, committed netizens do sign up to volunteer if you have not already done so and refer us to as many as possible.
We have so far, 80+ registered volunteers from all over the world.

And a special thanks to 1conoclast for directing Shalini Narayan of Indian Express our way. She put together the piece which appeared today. Thanks Shalini.







Monday, February 9, 2009

Our Print Media Debut

Today, 09 February 2009 ,we made our maiden print appearance ! For all those visiting us and not from Pune, here is the teaser and the rest follows!

We have had 400+ visits from Pune today, more than any city in the world! And in no small measure responsible for this is the Pune Mirror and the author of the article Senior Correspondent Mr. Nitin Brahme.

Thank you all and keep visiting and do not forget to sign up to volunteer if you have not yet done so!






Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crossing Boundaries, getting Known

I am very happy to announce that we [the site and the blog combined] recently crossed 2000 visits! Also, more encouraging is the fact that we now have 50+ volunteers who have signed up from about 10 states!

And of course, the big news of the day is that The Mutiny has chosen to write a post about us! Thanks to Ujj and the entire team.

Thanks are also due to Annie and other bloggers who have sent traffic our way. If you have written a post about us, please let us know in the comments here.

cheers,
-A

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Do we hate politicians"? and other FAQs

Given that the idea of Never Forget came to us after the incidents of 26/11/08, it is natural to ask if we are also of the "all politicians are useless and we hate politics" mindset.

Well, this and other questions like this have been answered in our FAQ, published today.

From the long list of frequently asked questions:
Q. Are you against politicians/politics?
A. No. Of course not. A politician, rather, an elected representative (ER) to us is much like a civil surgeon or a top scientist at ISRO -- a public servant -- someone whom the people have chosen to perform a very specific duty. Our aim is to a) identify and appreciate those ERs who are fulfilling the promises they made to us, and b) to encourage other ERs to do so.


For the answer to
"Which "wing" are you people? Left, center-left, center, center-right, or right?"
and more, go to the FAQ.

:-)
-A

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"The baby that cries, gets the milk" (A day at the Conference on Electoral and Political Reforms)

The Beginning

The invite came from Anil Bairwal of ADR (Association of Democratic Reforms) and the plan was set. The 5th Annual ‘Conference on Electoral and Political Reforms’ was to be held in Mumbai and what could be a better weekend to the week that started with the launch of ‘Never Forget’.
When we entered the grand auditorium of Nehru Centre in Worli, Anil Bairwal was already on the mike, anchoring the event and politely requesting the still-contemplating delegates to take the seat. Anushka Manchanda, of the now-defunct band of girls Viva, opened the conference with her live performance which centered around 26/11 and its aftermath. She confessed to having gotten her Voter Id for the first time this year, and appealed to the ‘internet’ generation to do the same.

How I drifted

Then started the real action. Prof. Trilochan Sastry, Dean IIM-Bangalore, presented the opening address and quoted the 2002 Supreme Court ruling which made it mandatory for the candidates to file a sworn affidavit about their financial, educational, and criminal background. This particular ruling became the bedrock of election watch organizations like ADR, and led to decriminalization of politics to a great extent in the last 3-4 years. He added a sensational (and true!) statement to the above – “For the first time since Independence, we have the criminal background data of all the elected MPs in the parliament.” (Applause.)

He also talked briefly about what we (at NF) stand for – accountability. “It’s a sad truth that no election manifesto is ever fulfilled.” At this point, a thought struck me. Why are we, as a nation, so obsessed with elections? As per Prof. Sastry – there are at least 1200 Election Watch NGOs in India, which are now working together for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. I understand that elections are the only time we exercise our right to elect, and they set the course for the next 5 years (or less, depending on when and how many MPs defect :-). I also appreciate, in fact am in awe of, the work done by ADR and similar organizations – they have actually made a difference even in states like UP and Bihar where terms like ‘Baahu-Bali’ are an indicator of a million things. But as I said, I wondered, what about the time period between one election and the next? How many NGOs are there asking for accountability? Are we not just keeping the ‘apparent idea of democracy’ alive by voting and then forgetting till the next elections?
(I missed some points while going on this trip of mine…and Prof. Sastry was done.)

Can they be reformed?

Next in was the first panel discussion of the day – Political Reforms. Moderated by that veteran of Panel Discussions on NDTV, Sreenivasan Jain (who was understandably off-key, fumbling, or banal in the absence of a TV camera) – the discussion itself drifted into a direct fight between Suresh Prabhu (MP from Mumbai) and the blood-thirsty audience. A few very sensible points were made by Ms. Aruna Roy (Magasaysay Award Winner and one of the most active RTI activists in India) who put the onus back on common man to ask for better delivery and added that “RTI is all you need.” When Suresh Prabhu justified the growing money-power during election time by saying – there is no option as we have to spend what the next guy is spending, else we stand to lose, she fired back saying – There is an option to spending more money. And that is – work harder! (But then, bashing a politician is as easy as cracking a blonde joke.)
The session ended on a good note with many audience members jumping up to ask questions (including a man who was sleeping all through, sitting next to me. He didn’t get a chance to ask and I was left wondering what the heck he would have asked.)

The Q and A threw up some interesting facts like the South Africa model of elections where no candidate is allowed to spend even a single penny and the state funds the election campaigns. One of the panelists (Rajesh Tandon) quoted some French (who else!) philosopher – “Politics needs sensible men with significant means.” So, a discussion which started with concerns about money dirtying politics, ended with a concealed acceptance of the fact that not much could be changed.

The CEC address

Chief Election Commissioner, N. Gopalaswami, was to address the conference just before lunch but his session was shifted up due to time issues. He started with a pat on the back for the work done by ADR and agreed that it’s a tough job to catch all the erring politicians. “It’s always like we are chasing a thief…and thief is always one step ahead.” He gave out lots of numbers indicating how bad it is out there, during the last 15-days of election-campaign. Some of the figures/instances I remember are – “22 Crores cash stashed in an ambulance…” “liquor intake of Punjab rose from 2.5 Lakh litres to 20 Lakh litres in the month of elections”, “150 crores spent in a single lok-sabha bypoll” and more mindboggling numbers.

He also agreed to the resolutions put forward by the conference (to decriminalize politics further) and addressed one of them in particular – the ‘Right to NOT vote’ demand by ADR. (The famous hoax mail titled ’Article 49-O’ may ring a bell here.) He said that giving the right to NOT vote in the current scenario is technically in direct conflict with the ‘secret vote’ funda. Since the AVMs don’t have a ‘no vote’ option, and since the officer at the booth has to account for every person entering to vote, he (the officer) will be forced to note down the name of the person who didn’t hit the pad, as a result, ‘uncovering’ him. So, till the time the government agrees to have a no-vote option, this is a dream on a hoax mail.

On me asking (post-presentation Q &A) specifically whether the issue is only technical or he has a fundamental take on the issue too, he said he had no fundamental issues with it. “It’s your vote, you decide how to use it. I will just give you an option.” And when I asked, ‘But then, in case of a majority with ‘No Votes’, will there be a re-election’, he dodged the question by saying ‘the law has to be changed for that…and that will come from the government. We are just a regulatory body.’

People further prodded him to get Election Commission to play a bigger role in democratic processes post-election and one guy even suggested that EC keeps a tab on ’promises in the manifesto and how they are delivered’ (yes, accountability!) – he got slightly upset and said – why should EC do your job? That’s something you should demand. And ended on these golden words – “The baby that cries, gets the milk.”
****************

Friday, January 30, 2009

A thousand hits, and a new look!

Last night, the website http://www.neverforget.in crossed 1000+ visits! this, accompanied by the other numbers (we now have 40+ sign-ups!) and emails sent from iPhones, are very encouraging to us. Thanks to you all!

Additionally, the content on the main page has been revamped, as well as that on the about us page. A new specific page on the team has also been added. But perhaps the closest to our heart is the page on 26/11 -- our leitmotif, which explains what finally pushed us over the edge to stop sitting on our collective behinds!

Next step: customizing the look at feel of this blog to make it look like the rest of the site. Any blogger experts listening?

Close Encounters of the Politician Kind (with due apologies to Steven Spielberg!) Part 1

As a part of our pre launch initiative,we wrote to 3 politicians holding office,requesting them to demonstrate their approval/ encouragement (thereby adding steam and bestowing blessings:-)) for the NEVER FORGET endeavor by making available to us their party/personal manifesto/promises.

There were reactions from all three but the “happy face” inducing was the one keyed in personally by the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir,Mr.Omar Abdullah…….

“Our common minimum programme is a work in progress at the moment.

I will forward your email to my party colleagues in the National Conference to make available to you our manifesto & our agenda for governance.

Best wishes,
Omar Abdullah”
Sent from my iPhone

More Power to the youthful,savvy,accessible,progressive achiever face of the Indian Politician ?

p.s.:Part 2 and Part 3 coming up soon!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Launch in Numbers

3 days since the launch.

974 site visits.
2715
page views.

41 members in the facebook group.
47 people signed up for announcements

2 sitting MPs and 1 sitting CM respond favorably to our emails.

and to top it all

37 action-oriented people from 8 states signed up to make a difference.

Yes, we are getting somewhere :-).

Thanks for choosing Action over Words!

This is from a mass thank-you email sent out last night to all those who signed up. Posted here to share/express our excitement to see so many action-oriented fellow-netizens.




Hi,

At the outset, I must say that we at the neverforget.in team are extremely excited and overwhelmed by the responses we have seen so far to the website, and especially to the "make a difference page"!

We will be responding to each of you individually in the next couple of days [didn't we say we were overwhelmed :-) ], but this mail is to say a quick and loud "thank you!" to you all.

Quick piece of news: We will be at an election reform conference in Mumbai this weekend, meeting like-minded social organizations, and sharing our ideas. More updates to follow at our blog http://blog.neverforget.in/ .

Also, we would like to share some quick points with you all:

1. We have gotten responses from 27 people of 8 different states so far. This is great news, as the main goal of this system is for the electorate to track their own representatives, no matter what the level of governance is.

2. We have also received positive responses to our communiques from a sitting MP, and a sitting chief minister [an email from his iPhone, no less] ! More details will be revealed soon :-).

3. Over the next few days, we will be inviting you all to a [very low traffic] team mailing list, so we can have short action oriented discussions over some common topics. Note that this will be different from the announcement mailing list, which is for one-way communication.

4. [ @Abi ] Minor clarification #1: To submit data in the system, one _does not_ need to register. For example, for tracking the MP of Pune, anyone can use the form here. However, much like the editing feature in wikipedia, only when the data submitted in the form has been validated by the team in-charge of that region [Pune in this case], will it go online on the website.

5. [ @Vaibhav ] Minor clarification #2: Please note that there is no bar on which "type" of elected representative we enable the tracking of. At the highest level, we treat the "central government" as one entity, but also each MP as a separate entity, since they both make separate "promises". The same follows for states, cities, and even villages. The current map only shows MPs since that is the only list of names we managed to collect for the launch :-).

6. [ @Ragini ] The main objective of this initiative is to provide a platform where the average voter can a) contibute data about the promise-fulfilment performance of their elected representatives, and b) consult this data to decide their vote come election time. Well-written articles based on [and citing] our data core will go a very long way in reaching out to the common citizen, who might not have the time to go through the raw data.

Hope this has cleared some questions that were asked by you in the form. More info will come in the coming few days, as we prepare to handle the deluge of enthusiasm you all have shown, and also prepare for the meet this weekend.

In the meantime, please keep spreading the word about the site among your friends and loved ones, and let us know if you have any questions/comments.

with best wishes,
Animesh
Part of the Never Forget Team

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blogosphere Coverage on the Launch

The launch of the website got coverage from some blogs , from smalltime ones such as those by cat, 1conoclast, and animesh, and by the big one, nanopolitan, by abi, who has presented a detailed first take on the site.

Thanks a lot bloggers! Spreading the word is what we need at this stage.

We have done the "build it" part of the game. The "they will come" part is up to you!

update: Thanks to Abi, it is on desipundit also now!
update 2: Thanks to A.I. for posting it on mantrarudraksh and to Abhishek for the post on furobike.

Monday, January 26, 2009

FELICITATIONS ON OUR 60th REPUBLIC DAY

WELCOME to the first cut of our wee contribution ...Animesh may probably disagree :-) ....to the collective national good .
NEVER FORGET !!
In the coming days we are hopeful of making this entity into a zestful and informative repository of newsworthy material and a forum to lock-horns :-) on topical issues.
Looking forward to your views, your reviews , your association, your collaboration, your appreciation!!
Have a good day all.