India have more than 10,000 clubs or gymkhanas with bigger clubs having more than 1000 members. Most of these clubs have annual elections where they elect their representative to look after the affairs of the club.
Clubs can be of different types. These include:
Gymkhanas are clubs or association of persons which are created to provide specific infrastructure to its members specially the facility of a gym. These gymkhanas are created by pooling of resources by members or by funding from specific corporate or organization. Corporates and specific organizations generally fund these gymkhanas to provide these facilities to their employees or members.
These gymkhanas are managed and operated by members who are elected by all members from among themselves. Generally, each member is supposed to pay an upfront membership fee and annual maintenance fee to help build and run these facilities.
A gymkhana, unlike the name suggest, need not be limited to facility of gym. There are many prestigious gymkhanas in Mumbai and other places which have facilities of swimming pool, playground, indoor sports, tennis, badminton, basketball and other such sports facilities. They also have restaurants, card room and other recreational facilities.
Club is another name for a sports and recreational facility built for common use. The word club originate from basic nature of clubbing of resources to build a shared infrastructure. Such clubs are built and managed by members who contribute to the creation of the infrastructure for common use. These clubs do not have any single owner. Members jointly own the club and have equal rights. Members elect representatives from among themselves to manage the operations of the club.
Such clubs should not be confused with privately owned and managed clubs like night clubs where generally ownership and management are with the owner and purpose of those clubs is to make profit.
These days, most modern housing societies have sporting and recreational infrastructure like swimming pools, gyms and other sports facilities. These clubs are very similar to membership-based clubs; however, the membership of these clubs is limited to flat owners or property owners of the society. Outsiders who are not owners or people who do not reside in the society are not allowed to become members of such clubs.
These clubs are also run by elected representatives from among the members of the society. Generally, elections are held at regular interval of 1 to 3 years. The elected representatives take the key decisions in the operations of the club within the limits of bylaws and resolutions approved by the members in the general body meetings. Most housing societies do not have a separate election for management of clubs within the housing society and the elected committee members of the housing society manages the club too. To know more about eVoting in housing societies, click here.
There are clubs like Rotary club, Lions club which are non-government organizations (NGOs), or charitable organizations formed for some social or charitable purpose. They also use the term club; however, they are distinctly different from clubs meant to provide recreational facility to the members. In such NGOs, people club the resources towards the goal of betterment of the society and not the members alone. For such charitable organizations the benefits of club activities might go to third parties like poor, uneducated, people in need. Generally, a social club, although formed not to make profit is meant more to serve the need of the members rather then third parties. To know more about online voting in NGOs and charitable organizations, click here.
There are interest groups in schools and colleges for different activities like drama club, debating club, finance club, marketing club. These clubs again are different from gymkhanas and social clubs meant to provide sports and other infrastructure to members.
These interest groups are social clubs where people with similar interest get together to form an association or club with the purpose of jointly promoting specific interest. Membership of such clubs are generally voluntary or based on selection process where incoming member must prove his potential or skill to be part of the club. These clubs are also managed democratically. Management committee of the club is elected by members from among themselves. To know more about eVoting in clubs in an educational institute, click here.
The club and gymkhana elections are very high prestige and well fought elections. The asset under management for these clubs are in crores and generally there is a very high membership fee to join these clubs. Many clubs have a long waiting list for membership as the clubs not only provide good infrastructure at low cost but also provide opportunity to network with rich and influential people of that society.
However, voting percentage in these club elections are generally less than 25% as most of the members do not want to waste time travelling to the club and standing in queue just to vote. Many members are also not able to participate as they are travelling or residing elsewhere. Mobile voting or online voting option will substantially improve voting percentage and member engagement in these clubs.
Right2Vote's online voting software is very useful for club elections and for various key decisions where member consent is required for example increasing the membership fee, major capital expenditure etc. Right2Vote's eVoting technology can help clubs substantially save, cost, time and effort and at the same time, substantially increase voter turnout. The elections and resolution voting can be managed with 100% security and transparency.