PARADIP: In a bid to encourage people to exercise their franchise, the district administration on Wednesday organised a Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation Programme (SVEEP) beach festival here.
The festival, aimed at creating electoral awareness among voters, especially youngsters, was inaugurated by Jagatsinghpur Collector Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar at the Baliyatra ground.
The officials said, first time voters including college students, who reside in other districts or States do not bother to cast their vote as they are unsure of whether it will make a difference. Similarly, the differently-abled refrain from voting as the polling booths do not have adequate facilities for them.
Keeping this in mind, the district administration has made adequate arrangements for the differently-abled and the elderly. This time, two women booths and one for persons with disability will be set up in every block. Besides, each block will have two model booths and volunteers from NCC and Scouts and Guides to assist the differently-abled voters. Several activities and cultural programmes have been planned at the festival.
Mamata Sahu, a college student said the programme inspired her and made her aware of the right to vote. Local cultural organisation ‘CANMASS’ staged a drama Mote helaa athar, mu heli voter (I am 18 years old and I am a voter) at the festival. ADM, Paradip Kanhu Charan Dhir, ADM Jagatsinghpur Sachidananda Sahu and other officials were present on the occasion.