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  • Good Practices

    1. 1

      INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PwDs) IN UDUPI

      By Priyanka Mary Francis, DEO Udupi   Slogan for 2018 election is centered on acronym - IAE – ‘Inclusive, Accessible and Ethical’. In this background the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, efforts were made to prepare the list of Persons with Disabilities(PwDs) - polling station wise, and on the type of difficulties – visually impaired, physically challenged, hearing impaired, from November 2017. To enroll, educate and to facilitate these special category of voters to cast their vote, a training programme was conducted for Rehabilitation Volunteers, heads of special schools and hostels. Officials were informed to arrange a Helpline well in advance that takes care of transportation to and from voters residence, wheel chair facility for movement around the polling station on the day of poll. On April 18, 2018 a special training programme was organized by SVEEP committee for visually impaired persons to educate on ethical voting. Mr. Deekshit, himself a visually impaired person, administered the Braille scripted oath to the participants. To impart the hands-on skills on EVMs and VVPAT a technical session was also arranged. On the lines of the saying “Just because a person lacks the use of one’s eyes, doesn’t mean that person lacks vision” Mr. Pakeerappa another visual PWD gave an account of his feelings on this issue. On the same lines, Mrs.Prameela, a special school teacher, educated the speech and hearing impaired persons using sign language. The participants –Naveen, Ganesh, Prashanth, Niranjan, Fairoz took active part in the programme with lot of enthusiasm. Para gliding,boating and cultural events were organized for these specially-abled persons at Malpe Beach on the same evening. To facilitate the easy movement of physically disabled voters around the polling localities, 555 wheel chairs were collected from private and public hospitals, NGOs and village panchayats. Volunteers drawn from NSS, NCC, and Scouts and Guides, Ranger-Rovers were kept ready to assist them. Magnifying lenses were provided at 336 polling stations. Whenever the PWDs were not able to have their own transport facility, village panchyats provided such a facility on preplanned demand.       A unique feature of the polling station No 81 at 119 Kundapur constituency, is that all the polling staff were PWDs. All these officials volunteered to perform their duty on the often quoted line “Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” In this polling station, ramp, wheel chair, walker, walking stick, blind stick, toilet for specially-abled persons, magnifying glass, pendals for shade, drinking water, seating arrangement, medical and volunteer assistance were specially arranged. Mr. Neetish, a PWD, who is working in a private organisation,has appreciated the initiatives of the election commission. He also recollected the pains he used to undergo in the past. Similarly Deepa Shetty and Nagendra appreciated the provision of magnifying glass in the polling booths. Mr. Manjunatha, Hearing impaired Aged about 45 Years, Son of Bedu Devadiga was guided to vote by special school teacher Mrs.Prameela in sign language. Candidates name, photo, symbol, voting method, details on VVPAT communicated by the teacher. After this learning process, the confident Mr. Manjunath became very happy and voted on his own.After the voting he expressed his happiness by sign language.He was happy about the facilities provided by the administration for the Pwd voters for the first time. His contentment about voting was really a lesson for “so called” educated, modern people who are reluctant to involve in the democratic process.    All these happy examples laid a milestone in the history of Udupi District and definitely gave the message that “Never ignore somebody with a disability, you don’t realize how much they can inspire you”
    2. 2

      Will and Way Coordinated in Amritsar: A true Success Story  

      It was 9.30 in the morning, Kuldeep Singh and his wife Smt. Palwinderjit Kaur aged 67 and 66 respectivelyare feeling low.A sense of thrill and anxiety prevailed in their heart and mind. Thrilled, as this is the biggest day for democracy of their country. They were feeling sad and depressed as there was no one around because all neighbors had gone to vote sinceit was a "poll day". Their only son had abandoned home due to some contingency. Questioning god Kuldeep prayed to free him from his anxiety of dependence as he was Divyang. Having one of his legs crippled, he was barely able to manage his living without assistance. But his will and wit were strong to cast his vote.   Away from the district, administration constituted a team under the able leadership of Ms. SonaliGiri, IAS (Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-Additional District Election Officer) and was assigned a task to assist Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to cast their votes. Meetings were conducted with all the NGOs, clubs, persons involved in social services and representatives of Persons with Disabilities to find out the best way of assisting these people. Other than this Booth Level Officers(BLOs) and Booth Awareness Groups (BAGs) were assigned a task to identify each and every person having disability and record the kind of disability and the kind of assistance required by him/her. Having done this preliminary work a man to man marking of such persons with social workers, students, NGOs, clubs, volunteers of NYK etc. were done to assist every person to polling booth. They were given first preference over any other voter with all the facilities like, ramps, wheel chairs, medical aid, refreshment, assistants etc. All efforts that were feasible were lined up to create awareness among voters. Various events like stage shows, NukkadNataks, Rallies, Seminars, Candle March, Giddha (Punjabi Folk Dance), Jaago (A kind of candle march by ladies singing songs) etc. were carried out on the roads of Amritsar in the presence of PwDs at all the prominent places. Still there was a void in these events as persons like Kuldeep were still left behind, who were not being related so far. Sonali was aware of this hard-hearted fact too. It was early in the morning, she woke up as the idea that 'still many PwDs might have left behind'made her uncomfortable with a fine sleep. Immediately she called her subordinate and asked him a question straight with,"Do we have phone numbers of all the persons identified as PwDs by BLOs and BAGs?”The answer was "Yes Madam". Her eyes twinkled and an innovative plan was born .She threw few more questions and all answers from her colleague were positive. Directions were issued and the time clock triggered. Present day Agitated Kuldeep is thinking of calling his friend Lovely Singh to assist him in casting his vote. He grabbed his cell phone and notice a message blinking over his screen already. It displayed "If you need any assistance in casting your vote please contact our toll free helpline number 18001802145." Hummm! He mumbled, Damn! Is it possible!!! In a flinch he called that number,"Hello, Control room", said a voice, "Can I get some assistance to cast my vote as I am barely able to walk myself?""With pleasure Sir", replied that voice. He noted his particulars and asked him to get ready as their pick and dropcar will be on its way to pick him. A team with car is now standing at his doorsteps. Filled with surprise and enthusiasm Kuldeep said, “Let’s go!!" and the team muttered "India Votes".    By: Saurabh Khosla, JA, District Election Office, Amritsar
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      Haryana Election Geographic Information System (HEGIS)

      HEGIS is a platform which digitize physical maps available with Election Department, Haryana pertaining to Parliamentary Constituencies, Assembly Constituencies and also to make available the information (especially the Locational- Latitude and Longitude as well as dynamic info) of various Government Utilities like Polling Stations, Health Facilities (CHC/ PHC/ District Hospitals), Police Stations, Fire Stations on the Geographic Information System (GIS) platform. The journey of building up of the Haryana Election Geographic Information System (HEGIS) is one of the best examples of transformation of Government data by building up of the full-fledged dynamic Geographic Information System (GIS). Thus, the Department has aimed towards creating a holistic GIS platform for Location Based Analytics and Decision Support System based on GIS inputs. The important financial aspect of this project is that the entire HEGIS platform has been implemented without any cost implication to the Government of Haryana.With the implementation of HEGIS platform, Sh. Ankur Gupta, IAS has created a testimony for other States/Government departments to work towards better governance by best utilization of infrastructure created by Government (which is available free of Cost) and transformation of physical data available in the State Government. Benefits of Project: The entire HEGIS built-up have the following key benefits to the Election Department presently as well during the conduct of Elections in the State of Haryana: A comprehensive GIS based map now available for the state. Multi-layered platform with the capability of superimposing any layer pertaining to Parliamentary Constituencies, Assembly Constituencies, District, Blocks, Villages etc. Flexibility of selecting any combination of layers to have the holistic view of selected entities. Integrated capabilities for the GIS Location based analytics, Planning, Decision support systems & supporting in delivery of services during the Pre Poll and Post Poll phase. Readily available information (Locational – Latitude & Longitude as well Dynamic info) pertaining to: Polling Booths locations along with other details like number of voters, assured minimum facilities available, electricity, water connection, building type, booth type, etc w.r.t each polling booth. Health Facilities (CHC/PHC/District Hospitals) with location, address etc. Police Stations with location, address etc. Fire Stations with location, address etc. Helps in deployment of requisite infrastructure as per the administrative requirements during the polls. Facilitates emergency evacuation and service support in case of anyeventualities, with the HEGIS capability of showing the nearest government utility like Hospitals, Police Stations, Fire Stations. Easy navigational search across parliamentary constituency and assembly boundaries as well as administrative units such as District, Blocks and Villages etc. Inbuilt capability to segregate the Polling Booths as per their sector type i.e. Sensitive Booths / Critical Booths / Forest Booths. Developed on open source platform in secured environment. Ensuring data security and disaster recovery by hosting the application on GI Cloud. Available on cloud platform for anytime anywhere access - https://ncog.gov.in/HaryanaElection/login Description of Implementation of Project: The State of Haryana has successfully implemented the Haryana Election Geographic Information System (HEGIS) platform for the Elections Department, Haryana with the support of NCoG. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Govt of India has set up National Centre of Geo Informatics (NCoG) for development of Geo- Informatics platform. The CEO Haryana has utilized this NCoG infrastructure created by GOI which is available free of Cost to the State Governments. Now Elections Department, Haryana has completely digitized and Geo-referenced all of its available maps/locations pertaining to Parliamentary Constituencies, Assembly Constituencies, District, Blocks and Villages etc. on the HEGIS platform. In addition to Geo-enablement of data concerned, the detailed information (especially the Locational- Latitude and Longitude as well as dynamic info) of various Government Utilities like Polling Stations, Health Centres (CHC/PHC/District Hospitals), Police Stations, Fire Stations, are now readily available on the HEGIS portal. The HEGIS Platform (https://ncog.gov.in/HaryanaElection/login) especially designed and developed by the Election Department, Haryana has now the following Geospatial database items available: Parliamentary Constituencies Assembly Constituencies Districts Villages Blocks Polling Stations with number of voters along with Locational information (Latitude & Longitude) and detailed information pertaining to assured minimum facilities (AMF) available at the individual Polling Station and their segregation as per sector type i.e. Sensitive Booths / Critical Booths / Forest Booths. Health Facilities (CHC/ PHC/ District Hospitals) along with Locational (Lat& Long) as well as Dynamic Information. Police Stations along with Locational (Lat& Long) as well as Dynamic Information. Fire Stations along with Locational (Lat& Long) as well as Dynamic Information.   Project Implementation Methodology: The entire HEGIS platform has been implemented by adapting the following methodology: STEP 1- Collection of all available maps pertaining to Parliamentary Constituencies, Assembly Constituencies, District, Blocks, and Villages. STEP 2- Scanning of physical maps. STEP 3- Geo-referencing of scanned map to satellite data. STEP 4- Digitization of Geo-referenced map. STEP 5- Availability of digitized maps on GIS portal. STEP 6- Collection of information (Locational- Latitude and Longitude as well as dynamic info) of the government utilities. STEP 7- Digitization of government utilities information. STEP 8- Geo-enablement of government utilities information on GIS portal. Project Outcomes With the implementation of Haryana Election Geographic Information System (HEGIS), following mark able differences have been clearly observed:  Pre-Deployment Scenarios Post-Deployment Scenarios: Only physical maps pertaining to Parliamentary Constituencies, Assembly Constituencies available with the Elections Department. A comprehensive GIS based map developed for the state with multi-layered GIS platform having the capability of superimposing any layer pertaining to Parliamentary Constituencies, Assembly Constituencies, District, Blocks, Villages etc. ü  No mechanism for any Location based analytics and Decision support information.   ü  Integrated capabilities for the GIS Location based analytics, Planning, Decision support systems & supporting in delivery of services during the Pre, Poll and Post Poll phase. ü  No ready information available with the department pertaining to important government utilities. Readily available information (Locational – Latitude & Longitude as well Dynamic info) pertaining to: i)         Polling booths locations along with other details like number of voters, assured minimum facilities available, electricity, water connection, building type, booth type, etc w.r.t each polling booth. ii)      Hospitals Facilities with location, address etc iii)    Police Stations with location, address etc iv)     Fire Stations with location, address etc ü  No analysis of polling booth locations, requirements and facilities therein. Readily available information helps in deployment of requisite infrastructure as per the administrative requirements during the polls. ü  No way of knowing nearby government utility like Police Stations, Hospital etc in case of any eventualities during the polls. vii)            Facilitates emergency evacuation and service support in case of any eventualities, with the HEGIS capability of showing the nearest government utility like Hospitals, Police Stations, Fire Stations etc. ü  No MIS reports pertaining to any PC-AC wise. ü  Customized reports as per stakeholder specific needs. ü  Available in office only. Available on cloud platform for anytime anywhere access.   HEGIS platform can be replicated in any state as all the major functionalities required for the Location Based Analytics and Decision Support System have now been built-up and various MIS reports have been well in place. As a result of successful implementation of Haryana Election Geographic Information System (HEGIS) platform, a comprehensive GIS Platform is now available for the state that provides GIS Location based analytics, Planning, Decision support systems & supporting in delivery of services during the Pre, Poll and Post Poll phase in addition to the various key benefits received during the Pre, Poll and Post Poll phase.
    4. 4

      THE SILENT BALLOT

      by Shri. Frederick RoyKharkongor, Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya.   The village of Kongthongin Meghalayas East Khasi hills perched on an adjoining ridge is known far and wide, as the village where its residents, are identified not with their names, but through various musical whistles and sounds. It is strikingly ironical that just across the hill,and in stark contrast,lays the village of Massar, known as a ‘silent village’, with its 87 households, being either,partially or completely deaf.In the year of Accessible Elections, 2018, this was what drew us to visit the village,in an effort to better understand their lives. We wanted to make Elections truly accessible to each and every voter,and perhaps make an “unheard” election “heard”.   Massar nestles in a mountain crevice en-route to Pynursla Sub Division, about 35 kilometres from the State Capital Shillong.  The village is accessed by a steep winding road that twists and turns, through deep mountains, and is not too far away from the country’s southward borders with Bangladesh atDawki. To reach Massar, one has to fork off the road that leads tothe rain soaked mountains of Cherrapunjee. Soon we foundourselves at the village Headman’s house. The young Headman and his Secretary shared with us at length a detailed account of how over 87 households belonging to the Nongsteng clan have remained silent for generations together for the past 100 years. Interestingly, he revealed that there are two groups of people amongst the Nongsteng Clan – The “hearing group” – Nongstengsngewand the “deaf group” Nongstengkyllut, living on two different hills. He mentioned that 87 households from amongst the village residents are dominated by the Nongsteng “deaf group”. It is pointed out thatmost of the children in the age bracket 0-6years are at various stages of hearing impairment. Records of some NGOs working in the village reveal that this community of hearing impaired numbersabout 90 persons, including 42 children. The village elders also pointed out that with deafness often comes the inability to speak. When prodded on the reasons, the village elders, in the absence of any logical explanations,accounted the genetic handicap to a legend that deafness descended on the clan due to a curse of having eaten the ‘DohkhaSyiem – the queen of fishes’. This perhaps, is but a small subset amongst the many reasons, behind this all pervasive and continued affliction. Mist woven hills overlooking the Headman’s House    We next moved to the Dorbar Hall where we were scheduled to interact with the challenged community,and soon enough,come face to face with them to understand how we could make tangible efforts at making‘Accessible Elections’ not only truly accessible but also truly inclusive. We soon realised, that not even the village elders could communicate directly or intelligibly with them, and it required an intrepid young lady Batimon Nongsteng a member of the Nongstengkyllut clan, to act as the bridge and a vital link between us and them. It was through Batimon, that the Nongsteng voters about 35 of them, some of them profoundly deaf, some partially, could vocalise their thoughts through signs and shrill syllables, perhaps residual remnants in the mind of what they had managed to learn, when they were little. Batimon shared with us, that to survive, some have learnt to lip-read, whereas a large many have floundered. We asked them whether they knew about elections or whether elections remained unheard.   BatimonNongsteng –our bridge to the deaf using sign language and lip reading  As Batimon motioned her fingers and lips in their direction through a unique combination of sign language and lip-reading, many of them raised their hands to indicate in the affirmative. The ERO of the assembly constituency however remarked that perhaps many of the women here continued to grapple with silence, at a time when elsewhere, the poll campaign would have reached a crescendo through loud jingles, bands, songs and speeches. Asked about how they responded to political campaigns, we were informed that they diligently followed messages received on their mobile phones, which even in their respective day to day lives is an indispensable tool for enabling them to communicate and negotiate their existence. We were told that as the aurally impaired amongst this community are mainly women, often it is a male member who would guide his female relatives through sign language on the voting process.   Interactions with about 35 genetically deaf voters of the Nongsteng clan in the Dorbar Hall Massar  Batimon expressed that across the village, silence hangs like a heavy curtain, and interpersonal communication is relegated to lip-reading and basic sign language. She confessed that when the village votes, even the beep of the electronic machine is often lost onmost ofthese women. When we explained, that the Election Commission has designated 2018 as the year of Accessible Elections,with a special focus on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) like themselves, and that the purpose of  our visit is to better understand their difficulties and challenges and to communicate to them personally that we will be creating special facilities for their enrolment and voting, it took only a moment’s gap for comprehension and soon,all present collectively break into a smile which drifted across like a hopeful haze.    The mood of the room further transformed, as we announce that one of theirs,BatimonNongsteng will be appointed as a Special Booth Level Officer for PwDs of Massar Polling Station under 27-Pynursla (ST) AC, with the specific role to assist the PwDs in enrolment in the electoral rolls, to facilitate them during polling, and to also act as facilitator of the PwDs in all election matters, including issues concerning their welfare in connection with their participation in the electoral process. Sign languages, embodying applause, quickly follows when we announce that as part of Assured Minimum Facility (AMF), priority voting,and continued endeavours to ensure the presence of specially trained volunteers, would be made available for them in all future elections. To end this unique interaction, a vote of thanks was proposed by a young hearing impaired girl who recently passed her matriculation from St. Fernando, a leading speech and hearing impaired institution of the state.    As we exited, the community appeared delighted to shake hands with the election team and to have their photographs takenbefore we made our way back to the State capital. We hope that withthese multiple efforts,to expand inclusive elections to the previously excluded, Massar village, withBatimonNongsteng as special BLO, will act as a new harbinger of change so that Massar will no longer be impervious to the festival of democracy. The hope and the challenge  is to transform the ‘unheard that is not only heard loud and wide but is also experienced in manner that resonates in its entirety the Election Commission’s motto – ‘No voter to be left behind’.   The CEO, Addl. CEO, ERO, AERO and Election Team pose with the Nonsteng hearing impaired voters at Massar Village
    5. 5

      What does he plant who plants a tree?

      by CEO West Bengal   He plants a friend of sun and sky; He plants the flag of breezes free; The shaft of beauty, towering high; He plants a heaven to home anigh:   Henry CuylerBunner     One who plants the tree is also an elector!   Plantation is a common activity in the parlance of development administration. Now it permeates the domain of Electoral Roll management, in Voter Education to be more particular. The cue was taken from the District Election Officer, Birbhum district which first implemented the programme in the State: Plantation for Greater Participation sometime in the month of July, 2017.  Conceptually, the activity is unique. It bears hitherto unexplored possibilities of unleashing social dimensions of what is basically an electoral event. Here, a prospective/ newly enrolled elector is conceived to be a sapling which will eventually grow into fruition. The programme as it was implemented in the State during the Summary Revision programme had two components: One, each future and newly enrolled elector was handed over a sapling by the Electoral Registration Officer or his Assistant ERO for plantation in his homestead residence as a token that the plant, in itself, would indicate the growth of his persona as an elector. Secondly plantation activity was taken up on a larger scale. Mass Social Plantation was carried out uniformly across the State on 9th September, 2017 when the entire election machinery went out to plant trees in Polling Stations, offices of the District Election Officers and Electoral Registration Officers and Assistant Electoral Registration Officers and other government premises including offices of the local self-governments.   A modest attempt in itself that goes one step forward in making our Polling Stations greener, the initiative also generates social assets. In most of the districts, the programme was taken in convergence with other state government departments such as the Forest, Horticulture, and Panchayat & Rural Development which chiefly provide the resources for the programme. Being economically cost-efficient, the programme is self-sustaining. Districts moreover took pains to guard the plants with fencing such that they survive. It bore some interesting slogans also underpinning the urge of electoral registration. On a single day, about 53,000 saplings were planted in Polling Stations while 48,000 prospective and newly electors were handed over saplings for plantation in their homes.   As a focus in coming days, ELCs-Schools are expected to come out largely in social plantation programme.    
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      Influencing the Influencer

      by CEO Gujarat   It is said that ‘A Woman Shapes the Home’. Then why should Women lag behind in shaping the country and its democracy! True to this thought, the Office of CEO Gujarat planned to evoke the democratic spirit of women of the State on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018. After all, which day could be better than this to remind the women of their rights bestowed by the Constitution of India to Vote, to make a choice and to take a stand! In line with the thematic approach for behavior change, a communication & engagement campaign was planned at dual level.   One intervention involved an innovative education cum motivation event with fun & games aimed to engage women into the electoral process and increase their electoral participation. Two different games were developed for the event. A special game of ‘Snakes & Ladders’ with messages on electoral participation was designed. This was before the ELC game of ‘Snakes & ladders’ was introduced by the ECI and thus it was a novel and fun concept at the time. The game was designed specifically to provide the requisite information about enrolment to the women and motivating them to cast their vote in every election without fail. The messages on the game covered wide variety of topics like enrolment eligibility, EVM&VVPAT, why casting vote is important, how every vote is important, ethical voting, Photo Voter Slip, facilitation by the BLO, various facilities available for women & PwD at Polling Stations etc. As per the modified version of the game, unhealthy/unwanted voting behaviors were discouraged by sliding down with snakes and healthy voting behaviors were encouraged with sliding up with ladders.   Apart from ‘Snakes & Ladders’, a ‘Chit-Game’ was developed with a list of 30-40 statements related to different steps of electoral participation written on different paper chits. These statements were mostly informative or action statements related to processes like enrolment, different forms for enrolment and change in details like name or address, procedure for changes in electoral roll, EPIC, facilities available at the Polling Stations for PwDs and other good practices that constitute a healthy voting behavior. Both the games were disseminated to all Districts & Blocks. Large sized prints of the Snakes & Ladders were organized. Women’s Day celebration programs were organized at District & Block level, which were attended by large number of women members including the members of Self-Help Groups, volunteers of Mahila Samakhya, Aanganwadi Workers and many others. The women members played both the games with lot of enthusiasm and fervor. Their interest was palpable and the excitement was obvious. Similarly in the ‘Chit-Game’, the women participants were asked to pick a chit from the bowl of chits and read aloud the statements on it. These statements were then written on a large board in legible handwriting. The participants were to copy them and rearrange these statements in an appropriate sequential order in their respective sheets with an aim that they understand the complete electoral process properly. The participant who rearranged these statements in the correct sequence was declared as the winner of the game.   All across the State, women members participated in the programs with lot of zest and zeal. The approach of learning with fun proved to be really an effective one. Another intervention, apart from these group events, was a simultaneous communication campaign based on women’s empowerment designed in form of a series of creations. Theme based creations featuring eight different categories of women viz. Blind, Deaf & Dumb, Wheel chair bound, Housewife, Rag-picker, Tribal woman and Rural woman were designed. The cross cutting theme was ‘Despite any odds, I can do it’. The creations further added that the election machinery salutes all women who have the spark of determination. The creations were widely disseminated over social media platforms and whats app as well as were used as banners and hoardings all across the State in different events and programs.   Women’s empowerment is the dire need of the growing times. She is a mother, she is a wife, she is a sister, she is a life-partner, and she is considered a member of not one but two families. If a woman of the house is electoral literate, motivated and inspired to cast vote, she can influence generations to come and the entire society. And that is what we hope and strive for.        
    7. 7

      Street Art Competition in Manipur

      The Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur organized a Street Art Competition as a part of its SVEEP (Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation) campaign on 22 September 2018 ahead of the Special Summary revision of Electoral Roll. The competition on the theme of “Democracy Rocks” was the first ever street art competition in the state and was held on the outer wall of the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, opposite Nagaram, Imphal. The competition was aimed at creating awareness about the necessity to participate in the democratic process of elections at the larger context while also highlighting the on-going Special Summary Revision to encourage young prospective voters to enroll before 31 October 2018 for upcoming elections. SAC Event Report 2018.pdf
    8. 8

      No Stones left Unturned

      A look into how the DEO of West Singhbhum and his team used every possible way to spread voter awareness and increase voter turnout. In the winter of 2014, the district of West Singhbhum and its electors were inching day by day closer to the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Elections. The previous elections had documented a voter turnout that was as low as 45%. The district is geographically remote, poorly connected and densely forested. It doesn't help that West Singhbhum was also an active site for intense Maoist activities with recorded incidents that had resulted in threatened voters who had no trust in the administration or the concept of democracy itself. But ever vote counts and so the aim to empower the voters and increase the voter turnout was clear to the DEO Aboobacker Siddique and his team. The team started off with organizing SVEEP meetings with different stakeholders. From campus ambassadors to local village functionaries, everyone was involved but more significantly, every available medium was utilized. In the months that lead to the elections, West Singhbhum witnessed 70 Nukkad Nataks, oath taking ceremonies in colleges, a number of candle marches in backward areas and numerous bicycle/motorcycle/scooter rallies, all with the intent of empowering the voters by creating awareness. To attract the youth, several sporting events were organized in the district such as 'Run for Vote' and 'Goal for Vote'. Hockey player, Ms. Bigan Soy inspired them to vote through media ads, quiz and essay competitions became common occurrence at schools, social media was used fervently and the DEO himself made mass appeal for participating in the elections. All SVEEP activities eventually culminated into a SVEEP fest in the district which drove the message for electoral participation home through a vibrant cultural programme. This fest featured 36 Jagrukta Raths, two for each block, through which posters, hand bills and pamphlets were distributed to the people. Special security planning was conducted with CRPF and relocation considered as a security measure. The efforts of the election officials paid off as the district chronicled a voter turnout of 70%. For the first time electors from 5 villages – Jambaiburu, Dharandiri, Balehaatu, Chevralore and Kodadihu voted for the first time! For his efforts in the SVEEP programme, Aboobacker Siddique, DEO West Singhbhum was presented the National Award for Best Electoral Practices in 2015.
    9. 9

      Holding hands to bring about a change

      50,000 youngsters come together to form the longest human chain in Jalandhar Ahead of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Elections 2017, the election officials of Jalandhar district were engaged with full fervor in the preparations. A matter of prime importance for them was to increase the awareness within the masses, and electors in particular, regarding ethical and informed voting. Reinforcing the idea of unity and strength to fight against voting inspired from fear or favour, was a highly particpative yet cost-effective idea of the officials – creating a human chain. The human chain covered a strech of 45 kilometers on Jalandhar-Ludhiana GT Road (NH-1). Recording a staggering participation of more than 50,000 youngsters from various schools, colleges and NGOs, the idea revealed itself to be a huge success and garnered massive attention from the print and electronic media along with conversations on online social platforms. The event was duly recognized and entered in the India Book of Records. The District Election Officer, Jalandhar actively involved himself in the initiative by administering the voters’ pledge to the 31,973 youngsters registered as new voters in the age group of 18-19 years that joined the human chain. The footfall of the event crossed 55,000 and was effectively managed with cooperation by the security personnel from Jalandhar City & the rural Police. As a result of various SVEEP activities convened in the district the voter turnout recorded in the elections rose to 77.40% against the 67.26% recorded in the Lok Sabha Elections, 2014.
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About Us

Logo ELCSystematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) is a programme of multi interventions through different modes and media designed to educate citizens, electors and voters about the electoral process in order to increase their awareness and participation in the electoral processes. SVEEP is designed according to the socio-economic, cultural and demographic profile of the state as well as the history of electoral participation in previous rounds of elections and learning thereof.   

Election Commission of India

ECIThe Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok SabhaRajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act

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