RAIPUR: A 102-year-old Rukmani Diwan will vote for the first time in Chhattisgarh capital Raipur this year. There are many transgenders, physically-challenged, youths and women like her who came forward pledging to exercise their franchise.
The understanding of the power of their vote to make a good government and a strong democracy was perceived by them through various unique events organised under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) campaigns across Raipur.
Appeals through mass cooking and serving of relishing SVEEP Khichdi dish at key locations, organising cricket SVEEP matches, SVEEP Rangoli and tug-of-war among women, SVEEP faag and holi-rangyotsav, burning effigy of electoral malpractices, SVEEP women-girls bike rally, SVEEP tricycle rally by physically challenged, SVEEP debate and dialogues in colleges-university-hostels.
Over 1.5 lakh persons took an online pledge to vote, SVEEP mehendi designs on hands-arms with appeal to vote, mass pledge by transgenders to vote, roping in hospitals-hotels-gas cylinder to convey message on
voting rights in their slips and bill-vouchers among others.
Some nursing homes have offered 10 per cent concession to those patients who cast their votes. On various occasions over 200 visually impaired students move together at popular spot like marine drive at Telibandha using their walking stick to encourage the people to cast their vote.
“As part of the Election Commission of India’s SVEEP campaign, the aim remains to enhance voters turnout in urban and rural areas through creating awareness and imbibing a greater realisation among the voters about their own right. Efforts were to engage masses through some novel SVEEP initiatives that apparently seems to have drawn huge response so far”, said the Raipur SVEEP nodal officer and CEO, Gaurav Kumar Singh.
To grasp the attention of the masses and the media, the out of the ordinary approach was planned under the tagline —“Mor Raipur — Vote Raipur” (My Raipur-Vote Raipur).
It continues to draw huge attention with novelty being played out every other day at key locations and mostly as weekend occasions. The festival of democracy is here and the Raipur is fully gearing-up to welcome it with strong participation.
“If we are able to build-up and augment electoral literacy among people and also inculcate the culture of electoral participation among the young and future voters, our mission gets accomplished," Gaurav Singh opined and further added that those unwilling to exercise their franchise can be inspired by appeals of various events and programmes.