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High voter turnout: Intensive campaign played a role

By SIVASISH THAKUR
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GUWAHATI, May 5 - An intensive and sustained campaign by the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Assam, in consonance with the Systematic Voters� Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) � the leading programme of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for voter education, increasing voter awareness and endorsing voter literacy in India � played a key role in enthusing the masses into voting in large numbers during the Lok Sabha polls.

It also effected a convergence of different departments such as Social Welfare, Panchayat & Rural Development for reaching out to the voters effectively.

Assam, where the polls were held in three phases ending April 23, witnessed its biggest ever voting with a percentage of 81.52.

Among the highlights of the unprecedented voter turnout has been the high percentage of woman voters. Towards that end, the CEO office had initiated a slew of measures under its �Aaideur Chora� programme to sensitise the female voters into voting.

�Launched on March 11, it was an initiative in collaboration with the Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM), the main objective of which was to sensitise female voters about the SVEEP and electoral participation. Community cadres of ASRLM did a great job in mobilising the members of SHGs to participate in the various awareness programmes. Various activities were organised across the State with active involvement of women,� Pankaj Chakravarty, Deputy Secretary, Election, and Joint CEO, told The Assam Tribune.

The activities included an Aaideur Haatputhi (a woman�s handbook) with vivid illustrations of vital aspects of elections starting from registration to voting; �Chandraprabha�, a women�s mascot; and �Sarothi�, a women�s helpdesk, besides regular woman voters� rallies.

Another initiative � �ihelp� � launched jointly with the IT-enabled Common Service Centres (CSCs) from March 17 to spread awareness among the rural masses, emphasised various ICT initiatives undertaken by ECI. These included cVigil (for enabling citizens to report on violation of election code of conduct), voter helpline, People with Disabilities (PwD) App, voter helpline number-1950, www.nvsp.in, etc.

�Divyang Sarothis� was another intervention for facilitating dissemination of information among the differently-abled and ensure for them an accessible election.

�The Divyang Sarothis in association with BLOs/VLEOs drew up feasible conveyance plans for smooth movement from pick-up point to polling stations. Volunteers were also stationed at polling stations to assist the differently-abled on poll day. Under �Enajori�, an initiative with the Social Welfare Department, we catered to their special needs in consonance with the poll motto �No voters to be left behind.� The main features of �Enajori� included mapping of differently-abled voters, accessible polling stations, Braille sensitization, transport facilities, poll volunteers, etc.,� Chakravarty added.

Similarly, the young voters were given special focus under a number of programmes such as �Election Quotient� � an inter-institutional quiz at district and State level; and �State Icons� comprising national youth icons of the State like Hima Das, Green Oscar winner Purnima Devi Barman, and Mr Universe Golap Rabha.

There were also initiatives that targeted various segments of voters such as �Voter Sankalp Samaroh� organised in all Gaon Panchayats; short films and ad exhibitions and audiovisual ads for young voters, senior citizens, differently-abled, female voters, etc; promo songs; �Radio Jingles�, �Run for Vote�, etc. �The use of social media was another highlight. The CEO, Assam, created a Facebook page and a Twitter handle where materials of SVEEP were posted and shared at frequent intervals,� Chakravarty said.

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High voter turnout: Intensive campaign played a role

GUWAHATI, May 5 - An intensive and sustained campaign by the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Assam, in consonance with the Systematic Voters� Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) � the leading programme of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for voter education, increasing voter awareness and endorsing voter literacy in India � played a key role in enthusing the masses into voting in large numbers during the Lok Sabha polls.

It also effected a convergence of different departments such as Social Welfare, Panchayat & Rural Development for reaching out to the voters effectively.

Assam, where the polls were held in three phases ending April 23, witnessed its biggest ever voting with a percentage of 81.52.

Among the highlights of the unprecedented voter turnout has been the high percentage of woman voters. Towards that end, the CEO office had initiated a slew of measures under its �Aaideur Chora� programme to sensitise the female voters into voting.

�Launched on March 11, it was an initiative in collaboration with the Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM), the main objective of which was to sensitise female voters about the SVEEP and electoral participation. Community cadres of ASRLM did a great job in mobilising the members of SHGs to participate in the various awareness programmes. Various activities were organised across the State with active involvement of women,� Pankaj Chakravarty, Deputy Secretary, Election, and Joint CEO, told The Assam Tribune.

The activities included an Aaideur Haatputhi (a woman�s handbook) with vivid illustrations of vital aspects of elections starting from registration to voting; �Chandraprabha�, a women�s mascot; and �Sarothi�, a women�s helpdesk, besides regular woman voters� rallies.

Another initiative � �ihelp� � launched jointly with the IT-enabled Common Service Centres (CSCs) from March 17 to spread awareness among the rural masses, emphasised various ICT initiatives undertaken by ECI. These included cVigil (for enabling citizens to report on violation of election code of conduct), voter helpline, People with Disabilities (PwD) App, voter helpline number-1950, www.nvsp.in, etc.

�Divyang Sarothis� was another intervention for facilitating dissemination of information among the differently-abled and ensure for them an accessible election.

�The Divyang Sarothis in association with BLOs/VLEOs drew up feasible conveyance plans for smooth movement from pick-up point to polling stations. Volunteers were also stationed at polling stations to assist the differently-abled on poll day. Under �Enajori�, an initiative with the Social Welfare Department, we catered to their special needs in consonance with the poll motto �No voters to be left behind.� The main features of �Enajori� included mapping of differently-abled voters, accessible polling stations, Braille sensitization, transport facilities, poll volunteers, etc.,� Chakravarty added.

Similarly, the young voters were given special focus under a number of programmes such as �Election Quotient� � an inter-institutional quiz at district and State level; and �State Icons� comprising national youth icons of the State like Hima Das, Green Oscar winner Purnima Devi Barman, and Mr Universe Golap Rabha.

There were also initiatives that targeted various segments of voters such as �Voter Sankalp Samaroh� organised in all Gaon Panchayats; short films and ad exhibitions and audiovisual ads for young voters, senior citizens, differently-abled, female voters, etc; promo songs; �Radio Jingles�, �Run for Vote�, etc. �The use of social media was another highlight. The CEO, Assam, created a Facebook page and a Twitter handle where materials of SVEEP were posted and shared at frequent intervals,� Chakravarty said.