Amma canteens big hit on social media

amma canteen.jpg

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief minister J. Jaya­lalithaa’s pet project ‘Am­ma Unavagam’ is “the most appreciated” among the visitors to social media platforms like Facebook and Twi­t­ter, which are emerging as potent political to­ols capable of influen­cing el­ection results, ac­cord­ing to a recent study.
“Among the 50,000-odd conversations reco­r­ded on socio-political issues in Tamil Nadu, Amma Unavagam has come out as the most discussed and liked socio-political issue. A majority of those who discussed the issue, were in praise of the scheme”, said ‘Aspire’ Swaminathan, IT exp­ert and psephologist.
These government canteens got almost 40 per cent posts/Tweets and about 60 per cent retweets and likes, with many commenting that they provided tasty food hygienically prepared to the commoners at low cost. 
Jaya’s welfare steps will impact 
Even as the welfare measures of the AIADMK government is creating a positive impact among the people, the findings of ‘Aspire’ study that ‘Amma Unavagam’ has emerged as a big hit among the youth on social media networks must come as a further boost to the ruling party.
The study done by ‘Aspire’ Swaminathan, an alumnus of IIM, Bangalore, among close to 50,000 conversations that happened on Facebook and twitter between February 15 and May 15 this year, also showed that many approved of the deft handling of the Kudankulam situation by the state government.
“Traffic on social networking is growing fast. More people are getting drawn into these sites because they are free, available at home, very useful and informative. Even my 63-year-old mother is busy on Facebook; she had the latest update on Kedarnath tragedy and is now closely following Telangana,” says Swa­mi­nathan.
An interesting finding in his study was that the AIADMK scored big in all the TN districts having high literacy in the 2011 Assembly elections.
If this factor is juxtaposed with the growing youth traffic on social networking even in rural areas, thanks to the smartphone invasion, the AIADMK is expected to gain substantially from this new media posting positive interacts on the government schemes such as Amma canteens.
“Election-2014 could be a starting point; this new media could score a big swing,” says Sashi Nair, director, Press Institute of India and the Research Insti­tute for New­spaper Development (RIND), Chennai.
“Politicians today cannot afford to ignore the young generation. They are an impatient lot and the social media is a wise bet to get them,” he says, pointing out that not just the Modis, Rahuls and Sashi Taroors, even the local councilor these days are getting on to the Facebook and the twitter-getting some expert to handle his site even if he is not computer savvy.

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