HYDERABAD: One Sakhi polling booth will be set up in each of the 24 Assembly segments in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits exclusively for women voters during the upcoming Assembly polls on November 30, said officials.
The Sakhi booths, also known as pink polling booths, would be managed by all-women teams, setting an example of women empowerment, officials said, adding that returning officers have been asked to identify booths where the number of women voters is higher than that of men.
Speaking to TNIE, GHMC officials said the initiative is aimed at encouraging women to vote and contribute to the strengthening of democracy. As part of its gender equality measure, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed the State electoral officials to set up all women-managed polling stations in each Assembly constituency during the ensuing elections.
The entire polling staff, including the presiding officer, police and security personnel deployed at the booth, will be women. Officials said the booths will have drinking water and creche facilities apart from waiting rooms. Women will also get tokens to mark their positions so that they don’t have to wait for their turn in queues. Balloons and rangoli would be put up to make the booths more attractive, they added.
In the last elections, several political parties had complained over the alleged inadvertent use of one colour scheme for the Sakhi booths alleging that it benefitted one particular party.This year though, the ECI has mandated no specific colour scheme for the Sakhi booths, allowing the electoral staff to wear whichever colour they want.