Anti-hartal online campaign

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Kochi: First it was the IT industry in Kerala which worked as usual on a hartal day. Now it’s the turn of the service industry to do so. And to achieve that goal the Travel Operators Association of Kerala is running an online campaign on Facebook to get support from likeminded people.

The tourism industry – tourists and tour operators alike, are the worst hit during hartals. After facing the heat because of the frequent hartal calls by different political parties, the Travel Operators Association of Kerala (TOAK), the registered body of tour operators in the Tourism and IT sector in Kerala, is attempting to say No to Hartals.

Talking to Kerala IT News, Raju P Nair, Secretary, TOAK said, “We hope to target the young and IT savvy crowd to form an opinion against this menace called hartal. We have suffered a lot and it’s high time to put an end to this. Unless people come out, no hartal will be defeated.” But the online campaign on a popular social networking site is yet to pick momentum.

TOAK has about 12,000 vehicles either owned or attached with their 185 members. Out of this, nearly 6,000 vehicles service the IT industry. These vehicles are the lifeline for the various IT companies in Infopark and Technopark. The success of running convoys on hartal days for these IT companies has given them the confidence to operate their services for those in the tourism sector also.

“Irrespective of the political party that calls for the next hartal, we will be operating chain services for the public. We have done this for the past few hartals but we want more people to take out their vehicles. The association will compensate the damage if it happens to any of our member vehicles while operating the service on a hartal day”, Raju added.

TOAK will also launch a massive anti-hartal campaign in the form of a ‘Solidarity Signature Board’ later this month starting from Kochi through Kozhikode and Kottayam before culminating in Trivandrum.

Hartals have been recognised as a social menace but there hasn’t been much progress in overcoming this menace. There have been several online initiatives like hartal.com and boycotthartal.com but none of them could sustain a campaign long enough to influence the policy makers.

Anil Philip
Kerala IT News

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