Email Writing for Political Action Workshop

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Photo Credits: David Huang

In October 2012 I conducted a training for Tibetan Advocacy Groups based in Dharamsala, India on “Email Writing for Political Action”.  I have been engaged with the Tibetan community in India since many years first as a volunteer, then as the Grassroots Director with Students For A Free Tibet, India. After stepping down I worked with Online Organizing groups such as Avaaz.org and Change.org where I was trained in political action related email writing. I wanted to use this and assist the Tibetan community in improving their advocacy skills through emails.

In the first hour, we ran through some slides on the different components needed to write an effective email. In the second hour we explored some successful emails from different campaigns and different tools and platforms which can be used to mobilise support online. I also emphasized the need for maintaining a proper segmented email list and why is it important for advocacy.

Slide- Available on request. I am also available for any trainings, workshops related to the above.

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Survey shows thumbs down to government’s Lokpal bill

Fri Aug 12 2011 17:58:57 GMT+0530 (IST) by IANS

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) A majority of people surveyed by a campaigning organisation Awaz do not support the Lokpal bill tabled in parliament that excludes the prime minister, MPs, the judiciary and civil servants from the ambit of the Lokpal (ombudsman).

The survey, released Friday, was conducted in six cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. A total of 1,518 people over the age of 18 were interviewed.

A total of 75 percent respondents felt that the government’s bill will not effectively tackle corruption.

Seventy-six percent indicated that they would not vote for a party that did not support an effective anti-corruption draft law and said that tackling corruption will be a motivating issue at the polls.

“The government’s Lokpal bill can be renamed as Protection of Corrupt Public Servant Bill or Promotion of Corruption Bill and will not do any good in the current scenario where corruption has pervaded from top to bottom of governance,” said Prashant Bhushan, civil society member of the Lokpal bill joint drafting committee.

“Indian voters will take to the streets to get an anti-corruption bill with teeth. The government is forging ahead with their joke-pal bill. It is time for the government to listen to the people of the country,” said Shibayan Raha, a campaigner of Avaaz.

Forty-eight percent of the people surveyd were ready to protest on the streets if the government fails to pass a strong Lokpal bill.

“Active participation of people can now make the government change its mind,” Bhushan added.

Avaaz decries cabinet’s endorsement of a weak Lokpal Bill

Agencies Jul 28, 2011, 01.58pm IST

NEW DELHI: Avaaz, the global campaigning organisation, with nearly 700,000 members in India, slammed the decision of the Indian Cabinet to push through a weak and toothless Lokpal bill. They criticised the cabinet for ignoring hundreds of thousands of Indian’s who are demanding a strong bill that includes in it’s remit the PM, MPs, Judiciary and all levels of bureaucracy.

Shibayan Raha, Campaigner for Avaaz said: “Corruption is arsenic in the water of our democracy and the Cabinet have chosen to keep our politics polluted rather than clean up our country of this poison.

In just 24 hours, over ten thousand men and women from across the country have sent faxes directly to Cabinet members demanding a strong bill. But, Ministers are protecting the elite status quo and not bold enough to respond to the public clamour with measures that could truly tackle corruption. “We will continue fighting to ensure we get a law that rids India of the scourge of corruption,” Raha said.

For the past four months people have been campaigning for a Jan Lokpal through Avaaz. Over 685,000 people have taken action by signing a petition to PM, sending emails directly to the Lokpal Drafting Committee, calling minister’s offices, sending personal messages to Sonia Gandhi, and sticking up billboards and thousands of posters across the country.

This week over 10,000 faxes were sent to the cabinet urging them to listen to the voices of the people and bring a strong anti-corruption bill to root out corruption once and for all in this country.