Officials strive to increase voter turnout in NTR district

Rallies, conferences & Kala Jatha progs held to raise awareness
Officials strive to increase voter turnout in NTR district

VIJAYAWADA : Voter awareness programmes are being conducted extensively in the NTR district under the auspices of the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) drive. District officials focused on voter awareness programmes before announcing the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The district’s average voter turnout is 65%.

Led by District Election Officer S Dilli Rao and Nodal Officer of SVEEP U Srinivasa Rao, various activities are being conducted to promote voter awareness. Rallies, awareness conferences, and Kala Jatha programmes are among the organised events aimed at sensitising citizens about their voting rights.

Under the Urban Voters Awareness Campaign, a striking display of a Big Model Ballot Unit at Benz Circle, Vijayawada, along with Kalalajatha programmes in Ibrahimpatnam and Gollapudi, has further amplified the outreach efforts. Notable personalities including the Collector, Joint Collector, VMC Commissioner, Sub-Collector, and district ambassador Dr Samaram took part in these endeavors.

A highlight of the campaign was the 2K RUN from BR Ambedkar Statue to the Collector Bungalow in Vijayawada, drawing 2,500 citizens and celebrities alike. Mobile Dispensing Units (MDUs) of the civil supplies department have been instrumental in disseminating voter awareness messages through voice messages in villages and towns.

Moreover, Municipal Corporation garbage collecting vans have been mobilised to campaign on every street, extending the reach of voter awareness efforts.

Special attention has been directed towards marginalised communities, with tailored programmes for differently-abled voters, transgender individuals, and senior citizens. The introduction of home voting processes in Andhra Pradesh from the 2024 general elections has been sensitised through dedicated programmes at old-age homes.

Similarly, initiatives targeting women voters at Funtime Club and Vasavya Mahila Mandali, tribal communities at a Tanda in G Konduru mandal, first-time voters at various colleges including Siddhartha Women’s College in Vijayawada, and various occupational groups including RTC workers, walkers at a park located in Veterinary Colony in Vijayawada, have been rolled out extensively across the district.

SVEEP district Nodal Officer U Srinivasa Rao revealed plans to expand Model Ballet Units programs and utilise gas balloons for publicity in villages and prominent centers, as suggested by the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) in the city.

Speaking to TNIE, NTR District Collector S Dilli Rao emphasised, “ Our primary goal is to achieve a high voter turnout of 85% in the upcoming elections. One of our main concerns is addressing urban apathy towards voting. To tackle this issue, we are focusing on raising awareness among urban residents about the importance of exercising their democratic right to vote. Additionally, we are paying special attention to ensuring that disadvantaged groups such as persons with disabilities (PWDs), the elderly, sex workers, and transgender individuals are not left behind. We are implementing targeted campaigns to encourage participation from these marginalized communities, ensuring that their voices are heard in the electoral process.

He said, “We recognise the importance of engaging with the rich and business class segments of our population. Through tailored outreach efforts, we aim to emphasise the significance of their participation in shaping the future of our democracy. We are conducting regular mandal and village-level SVEEP activities to educate and motivate voters.

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