HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

MP: IAS officer takes voter awareness to great heights, airdrops EC pamphlets

Rahul Noronha, Hindustan Times   March 19, 2014
First Published: 18:18 IST(19/3/2014) | Last Updated: 21:59 IST(19/3/2014)

An election officer in Madhya Pradesh has taken Election Commission's campaign aimed at maximising voter participation to atmospheric levels, literally.

Tejaswi Naik, a 2009 batch IAS officer and chief executive officer of Annupur district panchayat, on Sunday rode a two-seater powered paraglider (paramotor) to airdrop EC pamphlets urging people to turn up in large numbers for voting in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The officer flew a 20-minute sortie over Amarkantak town in Anuppur district in the paramotor piloted by a representative of Satpura Sports, the company that operates adventure tours in the district.

Anuppur, about 550 km from the state capital, is one of the 10 districts in Madhya Pradesh chosen for promotion of adventure tourism. The two-seater paramotor, stationed there and used by sports enthusiasts, has a parachute and an engine that enables it to be maneuvered to greater heights.

"We decided to utilise the paramotor for the twin objective of promoting adventure tourism and the EC's Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation Programme (SWEEP)," said Naik.

He said the officials were successful in persuading 55 youngsters to register as first-time voters.

"They were also taken for a joyride in the paramotor," the officer said.

The average polling percentage for Anuppur district in the recently held assembly elections was 72.15 %.

"Our target is to ensure that voting percentage in the Lok Sabha elections at least matches that of assembly elections," said Naik.

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