Mumbai colleges teach students importance of voting
Higher education institutes in the city have started organising workshops and awareness programmes for students to understand the importance of voting, as most of them are first-time voters.
At Bandra’s RD National College, a three-day inter-collegiate festival was organised by the political science department in which participating students formed a political party, designed its symbol and also wrote a manifesto.
“Our country is witnessing a very interesting stage of elections and we want our students to not just cast their vote, but also know the implications of their vote. The event was organised to ensure that students become ‘aware citizens’ once they step outside the campus,” said professor Ravi Shukla, head of the department, political science, RD National College.
He added around 600 students participated in this festival, including 250 students from other colleges.
Several institutes have introduced 2019 elections into their curriculum, making it part of regular lectures, mostly for students who will be voting for the first time in April.
“We realised just by helping students register to vote will not be enough because most students were not even aware of the political parties and sitting candidates in their own areas. Our team of teachers and students have gone beyond textbooks to understand elections and the change their vote can bring,” said Sobhana Vasudevan, principal of RA Podar College, Matunga.
In the last few months, several city colleges set up counters on the campus to help students fill voter registration forms.
In some colleges, the National Service Scheme (NSS) cadets helped students fill registration forms and alter submitted them at in the local tehsildar’s office.
In addition, election authorities and district officials recently requested NSS cadets to help handicapped voters on the day of voting. “Volunteers are being trained accordingly. Election and district authorities have been taking interest in the training,” said V Shekhawat, NSS programme officer from R D National College.