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Voter awareness drive picks up pace in Pune; 3 initiatives launched

The administration is targeting 80 per cent voter turnout for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 31, 2019 16:37 IST
HT Correspodent
HT Correspodent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,voter,awareness
T he city will vote on April 23 for the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to be held in seven phases across the country.(PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATION PURPOSE ONLY)

The district administration under the systematic voters’ education and electoral participation programme has undertaken three initiatives to create maximum voting awareness in the district. It is targeting 80 per cent voter turnout for the upcoming elections.

T he city will vote on April 23 for the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to be held in seven phases across the country.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Subhash Borkar, deputy collector of Pune district, highlighted the three programmes started by the administration, namely electoral literacy clubs, voter awareness forums and chunav pathshalas (chunav pathshalas is a platform to engage community members, mainly in rural areas, through interesting activities and hands on experience to sensitise them on their electoral rights and familiarise them with the electoral process of registration and voting).

He said, “It is our target to increase the voter turnout percentage in the district in the upcoming elections, consequently, we have undertaken three initiatives for all the four constituencies in the district.”

Meanwhile, to encourage first-time voters in the district, the administration has set up 534 electoral literacy clubs in junior colleges, where student ambassadors have been given a responsibility to ensure that maximum voting takes place from their respective colleges. The college professors are appointed as the nodal officers by the district administration.

According to Borkar, various initiatives such as creating awareness about voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, the process of voting, knowledge about ethical voting among others, will be done in these electoral literacy clubs.

He said, “Various programmes such as the formation of human chains with a message of voting in the elections, flash mobs, panel discussions on why voting is important and others, will be conducted in all clubs in the respective colleges.”

Similarly, chunav pathshalas and voter awareness forums will be established in all the voting centres in the district.

While chunav pathshalas will be established in all the 7,400 voting centres in the district, voter awareness forums will help in answering the frequently asked questions by the voters at the centres.

Borkar said, “With the help of these initiatives under systematic voters’ education and electoral participation and the efforts taken by various non-governmental organisations (NGO), our projection for this year is that we will witness 80 per cent voter turnout.”

What is systematic voters’ education and electoral programme?

Systematic voters’ education and electoral participation programme, better known as SVEEP, is the flagship programme of the Election Commission of India for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India. Since 2009, the Election Commission has been working towards preparing India’s electors and equipping them with basic knowledge related to the electoral process.

Initiatives undertaken

Electoral literacy club

Chunav pathshalas

Voter awareness forum

Voter turnout

Percentage of voter turnout in 2009: 45.59%

Percentage of voter turnout in 2014: 58.22%

Projected voter turnout in 2019: 80%

Total number of voters

Total number of voters in the Pune district: 74, 98, 221

Total number of voters in Pune constituency: 20, 65, 292

Total number of voters in Baramati constituency: 21, 04, 219

Total number of voters in Maval constituency (Excluding urban Panvel and Raigad): 11, 75, 154

Total number of voters in Shirur constituency: 21, 53, 556

Voters in the persons with disability category: 16, 906

First Published: Mar 31, 2019 16:35 IST