Rock the Vote — Desi Style

Kiran Bindra & Dhruti Contractor


Parties encouraged young voters in Atlanta and Athens

Hosted by MTV Rock the Vote,
Georgia Indian American Political Action Committee, and South Asian American Voting Youth

By Dhruti Contractor
Phone: (678) 521-5680

Atlanta and Athens, GA- On Thursday, October 21st, the South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY) and Georgia Indian American Political Action Committee (GIAPAC) partnered with MTV Rock the Vote and to promote the Vote for young South Asian Americans. The parties were held at Frequency in Buckhead in Atlanta and Tasty World in Athens, GA. Kiran Bindra, President of stated, “We were happy to sponsor this phenomenal event that will make a difference in our communities.”

The goal of these parties was to bring excitement to the voting process and was a part of SAAVY and GIAPAC’s efforts to politically empower young South Asian Americans. Karthik Nagarur, Atlanta’s SAAVY fellow believes that “young people are used to being counted out of decisions, but we wanted to show them that our vote counts loud and clear.” Over 400 t-shirts from the November 2nd and YouthVote campaigns and stickers and buttons from Rock the Vote were given out at the parties. “Our message was that we are part of a larger movement of young South Asian youth who are excited about voting,” said Dhruti Contractor, Director of GIAPAC and Board Member of SAAVY. “That’s why we gave out hundreds of SAAVY stickers that say: I am South Asian, and I VOTE.” In Athens, Georgia’s second SAAVY fellow, Krishan Bhima encouraged everyone who received the t-shirts to wear them on the same day to show the message all over UGA’s campus.

Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) Success:
Prior to the parties, SAAVY fellows, Karthik Nagarur and Krishan Bhima, along with GIAPAC, successfully registered over 500 new voters between the Athens and Atlanta communities. But their efforts did not stop at registering voters. “We have a diversity of tactics and multiple contacts to Get-Out-the-Vote,” said SAAVY founder and director, Tanzila Ahmed.

Each person who attended the parties in Atlanta and Athens filled out voter surveys that will be used by the SAAVY fellows to call and remind them to vote on November 2nd. Additional surveys were collected at Navaratri celebrations and on college campuses, taking the total number of surveys collected to almost 300. Therefore, SAAVY/GIAPAC registration and GOTV efforts have potentially reached 800 individuals in the community and more counting the visibility of the t-shirts. Eight SAAVY fellows all over the country worked on similar efforts. “On behalf of the Board of SAAVY, I am proud of the Georgia SAAVY fellows for their great achievement and being part of this national movement,” said Dhruti Contractor. “It is only the beginning, and we will continue our efforts towards our goal of being a recognized and visible voice in the political process.”