KARAIKAL: 'Pink Polling Booths', an initiative by the Karaikal district administration, was introduced to make a statement on women empowerment and self reliability.
The booths were run by an all-women team. Arches of pink balloons decorated the entrances of polling booths; women wore pink-coloured attire and tables too had pink draperies to add to the mood. This was how some of the polling booths in the district welcomed the voters.
District Election Officer and Collector Arjun Sharma said, "The idea is to emphasise that women are equally capable of handling not only election works, but also themselves and anything in life. This is also part of the Election Commission guidelines. Small initiatives like 'Pink Polling Booths' will hopefully give a sense of self-confidence and inspiration to the entire country."
Among 234 polling booths in the Karaikal district, five were designated as 'Pink Polling Booths'. Three were set up in Varichikudy, Selloor, Neracy and two in Karaikal town. Karaikal's Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Nodal Dr J Sherley co-initiated the idea. Presiding Officers and Polling Officers were all women in those five booths.
"It gave us a new experience and confidence. We believed we could do any work after participating in the initiative," said G Arunalatha, a college assistant professor, who presided a pink polling booth.
Another college professor Dr Bijitha said, "We got along well and conducted the polls smoothly. The colour also gave us confidence. It was a wonderful experience. The voters also cooperated with us." The women repaid the faith the administration kept on them and delivered success. There was around 80 per cent polling in the booths.