The little dot of indelible ink on your index finger is no longer just a tag of a responsible citizen. It is the mark of a responsible parent too.
For this year, that mark will get your child more marks at school – thanks to a novel plan of the Election Commission and schools of the state.
The EC has mobilised schools in a big way to capture voters. Months ago, voting forms were routed through schoolchildren. Following its success, schools suggested that they should get the children to push parents to vote.
In return, a child would get more marks in subjects related to SUPW (Social Useful Productive Work) and moral teaching. In government schools, the voting slip of each parent will fetch two marks, in private schools – a better grade.
Among the private schools in Lucknow, St Paul's School, St Teresa's College, Colvin Taluqdars' College and Christ Church have already begun the process. So has Aminabad Inter College, Navyug Kanya Vidyalaya and a few other government schools.
JP Mishra, principal of Aminabad Inter College, said, “This will be applicable to students of secondary and higher secondary section and a special column, national service, will be included in the report card for this purpose.”
Preeti Singh, head mistress of Colvin Taluqdars' College, said: "Since children have a lot of influence at home, we thought they could be agents of change."
Fr Alwyn Matha, principal of St Paul's College, said: "No parent will be able to deny the request of their young ones. And when it is a matter of the child's grades, they will vote."
Chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha said, "Earlier, when we involved students in our initiative, the efforts proved fruitful. Many parents said they completed the formalities only because of their children."