SMS voting system worries small town Indian Idol contestant

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Port Blair, May 30(UNI) Small town contestants like those coming from the remote islands of Andaman are concerned over the recent trend of SMS voting prevalant in most reality shows on Television.

Kumar Avinash, a talented singer from the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, was recently selected by Sony Television for the next Indian Idol show, but he and his parents now fear that while most of the participants would get a large number of votes from their respective states, Avinash would be able to gather a much smaller number of votes from these islands.

Worried over the challenge that the small population of these islands posed before Avinash, D Appa Rao, the worried father of Kumar Avinash today told UNI that even if the whole of the Andamanese population sent more than one SMS for each show, the total number of votes would be still remain far less compared to other contestants.

Rao said that gathering support via SMS would be a major challenge for his son, who, he said, had also topped the University exams (Music) of Graduation, last year.

Avinash is one of the most promising talents of Andaman, who has been awarded many prestigious awards, including the National Child Award in 2002 and Andaman's top most honour the Lt Governor's Commendation Certificate on January 26, 2000.

In fact, the entire Culture Department of Andaman and Nicobar Islands seemed worried over the SMS voting pattern, which is a clear disadvantage for small town talents.

This would be the first time that an artiste from Andamans have qualified for such a nationalised talent show.

Talking to UNI, Mr Robert Lucas, Director of Sports Arts and Culture Department of A&N Administration, said that his department would do everything possible to promote Avinash.

''If private TV channels consider the number of SMS votes according to the proportion of population of the states or UTs, artistes like Avinash would have a better chance in competitions like Indian Idol,'' said O N Jaiswal, Chief of Andaman's Press Information Bureau.

Although Avinash is confident of winning the hearts of millions with his devotion towards music but somewhere in his heart he is extremely worried, Rao said.

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