The Delhi University elections are round the corner, and the buzz around it has never been stronger. But, with elections and all the promotion around them, the most common issue that arises (among myriad issues) is that of the mess that is made. Thousands of pamphlets and posters are used to promote the candidates part of the presidential run, most of which end up scattered on roads and in the college grounds. Such a waste right?
Well, that is where the No Poster Party comes in. The No Poster Party was an initiative started by four students of Miranda House—Nancy Sharma, Marya, Simran Kapoor and Swastika Kharbanda — last year and their main aim was to keep DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) elections paper free and poster free, so that the campus looked clean and the promotions were eco-friendly. While the party did get a support of over 70 students last year, who came together at six in the morning and cleaned all the roads and the walls that were full of posters, they plan to take their message to every single student of the varsity this time around.
“NPP has been doing nukkad nataks, signature campaigns, cleanliness drives and more in the campus to make people aware about the paper wastage that is done during elections. We also plan to form a human chain this week, which will go around campus and will urge everyone to save paper, during and after the elections. The use of paper needs to be minimised and the environment should be made eco friendly,” says Marya from the NPP. “The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had issued notice to Delhi University, the Centre and the Ministry of Environment and Forests against the wastage of paper during elections and the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations on student union elections also allows only the use of handmade posters as poll material, colleges also repeatedly urge the candidates to not make a mess, but no one listens. That is the reason we’ve started the campaign early this time around.”
The NPP apart from striving for a clean campus also are campaigning for fair elections that do not offer any kind of bribe in the form of free pizzas, beauty products, cigarettes, movie tickets and more. “Political parties can use other creative methods, to promote themselves. Rallies, conferences, college to college promotions, organising activities like marathons, and more can be done as a replacement of promotions through thousands of posters and unfair means,. We want fair elections,” says Swastika Kharbanda from NPP.
The NPP which comprises of the founders and volunteers (both faculty members and students) has also roped in volunteers from NSS Miranda House, Panchtatva (The Environment society of Hindu College), Miranda house Vatavaran society and NCC Miranda House, and plan to cover the walls of the varsity with murals that depict DU’s rich culture rather than having thousands of posters make them look ugly. “We started with a simple text that was forwarded last year and have now garnered tremendous support. All we want is fair and clean elections, and that isn’t much to ask anyway,” says Marya.