The Ghaziabad district administration has given in-principle approval for a unique activity by school students on ‘National Voters’ Day’ on January 25. The students from private and government schools in the district will be awarded additional marks in extra curricular activity or their project work if they encourage parents and neighbours to come out and vote on February 11 in the UP assembly polls.
Under the concept, the students will be asked to prepare placards, depicting messages to encourage voting, and will also be asked to light a candle at their house on the evening of January 25.
“The students will then hold the placard, stand with parents and take a selfie. This will be submitted to their class teachers as record and the school will be asked to provide additional marks to such students. The entire concept is optional but designed to encourage voters’ turnout. It is observed that if a child undertakes an activity at home, his/her parents also join them,” said Krishna Karunesh, chief development officer (CDO).
For the purpose, the officials have also invited delegates from CBSE/ICSE and UP Board schools in the district for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss further strategy and also obtain more suggestion to make the programme successful.
“The concept is simple and don’t require much expenditure. Mobile phones are generally available at households. The marks to be awarded to such students will also be discussed during the meeting and modalities will be finalised,” CDO said.
“Apart from encouraging parents to come out and vote, the younger generation will also understand the need for being involved in the electoral process when they become eligible voters. The idea is to catch them young,” he said.
As per official estimates, the UP Board schools in the district have nearly 1.60 lakh students in classes 6 to 12. The other CBSE/ICSE schools in the district are estimated to have around 1 lakh students.
During the assembly elections in 2012, UP had 12,74,92,836 electors of whom only 7,57,25,793 voted. The overall state polling percentage stood at 59.40%.
In Ghaziabad, the polling percentage was 62.34% for Murad Nagar, 60.19% for Loni and 62.61% for Modi Nagar assembly segments which have a major rural voters’ base.
The urban voters’ base segments fared dismally with Ghaziabad City recording 54.08% and Sahibabad segment recording percentage of 49.31%, as per state election commission records.