Title - Assam weaves ‘gamocha’ around voter awareness messages
Gamocha Weaving Competition held in Titabor to spread awareness around voting
Ahead of the State Assembly elections in Assam in April 2016, in order to make the voters aware about their rights and duty by voting, various measures were taken by the District Election Officers as a part of SVEEP activities. One of the most successful and eye-catching experiment was carried out in the district of Jorhat, Assam under Titabor Election District.
As a part of systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation, competitions were organized among Self-Help Groups to weave Election Commission of India’s symbol on gamochas, mekhala-chador, table cloths, school bags, bedsheets etc. The initiative was aimed to attract mainly the female voters and spread among them information regarding the necessity and right to exercise their right to vote.
Gamocha, a cloth of significant importance as a cultural symbol and of day to day use, is readily recognized by any citizen of the state. Similarly, Mekhla Chadhar, is the natural dress pattern utilized by the ladies of the Assamese Society. By selecting these two items, a direct link to the community to spread the message on voter’s right and duty could be established. These articles were popular in market during elections.
The competition helped not only to involve the fair gender but also to spread the message to the households where the families take part in weaving. There was, therefore, an encouraging increment in the voter turnout across Jorhat district in all the polling stations of Titabor election district.