GUWAHATI, March 29 - The Lok Sabha elections are giving a big push to digital literacy in the rural households of Assam. As part of a unique initiative by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Assam, over 4,000 common service centres (CSCs) in rural Assam are conducting sessions in villages to train voters on digital skills so that they can use the ICT tools launched by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
�A range of mobile apps launched by the Election Commission are being put to use in the Lok Sabha polls. In rural areas, there is the need to increase digital literacy so that the voter can use these tools. That is why we decided to tie up with the CSCs. They have been conducting the sessions since March 17 under the initiative called ihelp,� Deputy Secretary (Election) Pankaj Chakraborty said, adding that the sessions conducted during these days would digitally empower the villagers even for the future.
While the ECI has around eight apps on the Google Playstore, four of them � Suvidha, CVigil, PwD and Voter helpline � will be widely used during the polls.
CSCs are Internet-enabled access points spread throughout the country for delivering various government and non-government digital services. There are 4,587 CSCs in Assam and they have presence in all the 2,548 gram panchayats.
The State head of CSC service in Assam, Gyan Doley, said since the initiative began, the centres have easily touched more than a lakh people.
�Around 50-60 people are participating in the hour-long sessions conducted at the centres. The participants are being told about the apps, how to use them, etc. We are also helping them download the apps. Door-to-door campaign is also being conducted at places,� Doley said.
The PwD app can be used by people with disabilities to register for ensuring special facilities like suitable polling station and special queue. Voter helpline app facilitates verification of name in the electoral roll and submission of online forms for new voter registration. CVigil app enables citizens to report rule violations.
The CSCs are also helping in making online registrations and verifying details on the electoral rolls.
The CSCs are also identifying dedicated ambassadors, �Divyang Sarthis�, at places, who are being tasked with the job of encouraging their fellow voters and creating awareness about various facilities available to them. They are also collecting information on the requirements of persons with disabilities by liaising with the administrations.