India mobile

SMS Campaigns Taking Off

Posted by Bonnie Bogle on May 02, 2006

SMS campaigns are becoming common in many parts of the world, but perhaps no where so much as in India. Every couple days it seems like a new campaign has been started and is getting coverage in the Indian online newspapers.

On the heels of the Justice for Jessica SMS campaign that received significant press coverage in India and abroad, a campaign has been started seeking justice for a woman in Patna, India. Text messages asking people to forward the message on to friends and to the head of police showing their support for a woman who says she was sexually exploited by a police officer. 

A political candidate in West Bengal, India, is sending text messages to reach out to urban and semi-urban citizens to ask for their vote in an upcoming election. Text messages are being circulated in Madhya Pradesh, India,asking people to conserve water. In several parts of India SMS campaigns are urging parents to send young children to schools that teach in their native language, rather than in English. And university students started a campaign for the quick recovery of Pramod Mahajan, an Indian politician who was recently shot several times.

SMS Campaign in India: Jessica Lal, An Update

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 31, 2006

The SMS petition campaign for justice in the Jessica Lal murder case that we wrote about here wrapped up last week with more than 200,000 SMS signatures (previous links no longer active). On air the 24-hour news station NDTV solicited their viewers – mostly middle class and mobile phone owners - to send a text message to the station protesting the injustice they saw in the acquittal of all nine men accused in the fashion model's murder in a crowded bar. These text messages, treated like signatures on a petition, were promised to be sent to the president to show the nation's outrage in what they saw as government corruption and a police cover up.

NDTV's managing editor said, "That just goes to show you technology has changed the face of mobilization completely. Because if this were like ten years ago and you were going door to door collecting signatures, which would have been its equivalent, it would have taken you many more logistics, just an army of volunteers. You didn't need any of that. You needed one rallying point on television."