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  • New Initiative

    1. 1

      Covering the Last Mile in Lok Sabha Election 2019

      Democracy, disciplined and enlightened is the finest thing in the world – Mahatma Gandhi   Nine years of field experience of the voter education programme, with acronym SVEEP, served as the ground work as we started the preparations for Lok Sabha Election 2019 – World’s largest election, be it the of size of electorate, the expanse, the variation in geographical terrain, the cultural diversity or the diversity of language. To give a sense of scale of LS election 2019, its electorate stands at a mammoth 900 million, which constitutes around 69.2% of the Indian population, it covers the entire length and breadth of this vast country with area of 3.287 mn sq km. The Electoral Roll is prepared in 16 languages. On one hand we have the highest Polling station is Tashigang, situated at a height of 15,216 feet above sea level in Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh while on the other there is the Dugong Creek Polling Station in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. While a Polling station is set up for upto 1200 electors in a rural area, Polling Station is also set up for a single voter in Gir National Park, Banej, Gujarat. Reaching out to the last voter itself is a challenge, but the bigger challenge is providing the last voter with the requisite information so as to enable him/her to make an informed decision. SVEEP is all about Information, Motivation and Facilitation and voter awareness, is not extended just to the current electorate of 900 million, but also to the prospective Voters. Electoral Literacy Club project covers populace between 14-17 years old in Schools through ELC-Schools and those outside formal education system, through Chunav Pathshala. Between LSE 2014 and LSE 2019, there were elections to the Assemblies of 27 States including the National Capital Territory of Delhi. These were periods of learning in all aspects of Election Management and particularly for SVEEP which had evolved as a programme only since 2010. Between the two national elections two landmark interventions were directed by the Commission. One was ‘Mainstreaming of Electoral Literacy through curricular and extra-curricular interventions’ and the second was ‘Accessible Elections’.   Mainstreaming Electoral Literacy-ELC Project As per the observations, lowest Electoral participation is seen among the youth, particularly those in the age bracket of 18 to19 years, which is their first year of being eligible to apply for registration. Information gap among this segment is a major factor along with the lack of motivation factor as they are busier in choosing their career path and electoral participation is least of their concerns. Hence, the National Voters’ Day was dedicated to motivating these newly eligible voters. After 5 years of discrete efforts at targeting the youth through various means, it was decided to evolve a more focussed, comprehensive approach, wherein the outreach would not be confined to election period or National Voter’s Day, but it will be a continuous process and aiming at wholesome electoral education vis-a-vis voter awareness. The Commission sought some interventions in school curricula from the Ministry of HRD in 2015. Expecting any curricular revision to take time, parallely Commission directed for developing extra-curricular interventions for prospective or future voters. Target age-group was 14-17 years, so that when they are eligible to become electors, they would be aware of the process of elections and also about the values of electoral democracy. The Electoral Literacy club project was thus conceptualised and by was launched on the 25th of January 2018 across the country. ELCs in schools and higher educational institutions, Chunav Pathshala in communities for those outside the formal education system was rolled out. Resources were developed on the principle of ‘learning by doing’ and activities were developed. Ahead of the Lok Sabha Election 2019, Commission directed for complete roll out of Chunav Pathshala at each booth. The aim being “Voter Education”, the concept is much different from the activities done for awareness. The activities are aims at detailed and longer engagement with citizens to their informed and sustained electoral participation.  The activities are kept simple to enable any volunteer to coordinate the same with the help of resource books. Voter Awareness Forums have been set up in Organisations and Departments to cater to the organised workforce. ELCs shall give rich dividends in years to come if they are nurtured in the same manner in which they have been conceptualised.   Making Elections Accessible While provisions always existed in the Law, Conduct of Election Rules and various orders issued by Commission from time to time to facilitate Persons with Disabilities to exercise their franchise, detailed guidelines were for the first time issued in 2016 just preceding the enacting of ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.’ Accessible Elections’ was adopted as the theme for National Voters’ Day 2018 and the focus of the year 2018 was towards making elections as accessible as possible for all.   Consultations with stakeholders were held at District and later at State level. The National Consultation was a culmination of the consultations and had inputs from Political Parties, Stakeholders, CSOs and States.Based on the findings a comprehensive Action Plan was evolved for the Lok Sabha elections. The interventions included introduction of Braille EPIC, transport facility for PwD who need them, making voter awareness material and websites accessible besides utilizing technology to facilitate PwD voters.While there have been some remarkable steps taken at ground level by certain districts, in other places lots of challenges were faced. As the polling stations are already standing government buildings, many of them have accessibility issues. Making them completely accessible remains a challenge. Then there are issues of providing smooth access from the road upto the polling station. A solution was found in form of Volunteers to fill in any gap in infrastructure. While the endeavour is to provide a barrier free environment for Voters with disabilities to exercise their franchise, wherever these barriers are not surmountable immediately, help is provided to help them overcome the barrier. Then there are issues regarding resource management. For example, while buying wheel chairs to provide facility at each polling station for elections, its utilization post elections has to be thought of. In some earlier cases, wheel chairs were procured ahead of elections by the election office and later given to either institutes for PwDs or to individual PwDs, as storage and maintenance till next elections was not possible. A more efficient way was found in recent elections , where some districts asked Panchayats to buy a wheel chair from their funds, and later use it in Panchayat Bhawan to facilitate PwD and senior citizens. Sensitization of polling and security personnel was flagged in preparations for National elections, as a major intervention and a simple session on sign language itself gave officials insights into the invisible challenges faced by the deaf community. Ahead of LSE 2019, Commission has issued strict directions on accessibility and also appointed Accessibility Observers. With the stakeholders too taken into confidence, there would be detailed information available with us post the elections on what can be further improved.   National Media Campaign For the first time, a comprehensive national media campaign has been taken up. Broadly all major topics were covered and after discussions and deliberation the theme of ‘celebration’ or ‘Mahatyohar’ was chosen. Based on past years’ experience including the KAP survey, messages were created around the 12 identified topics. A separate campaign targeting Persons with Disabilities was also planned to be disseminated in accessible format to cover all disabilities. National campaign aimed at supplementing the campaign by CEOs and DEOs. Some states translated the national campaign content in regional language and disseminated, while many others developed their own campaign content more relevant to the audience. The national campaign is being run on national television channels besides Cinemas, besides on public broadcaster All India Radio and Doordarshan.   Social Media ECI forayed into social media in 2016, specifically for voter education. The experiment was slowly scaled up and in January 2018, ECI formally launched its official Facebook Page.  A dedicated Twitter handle of the spokesperson to give updates to media already existed but otherwise there was no other presence on any other social media platforms. Ahead of Lok Sabha Election, the Commission decided to launch the Twitter handle and Instagram page specifically for voter education and outreach.   Essential components The essential components of the SVEEP program remain the same. Built around the principle of Information, Motivation and Facilitation, every possible connect with voters is utilized to give them information and to motivate them to vote. Facilitation is extended in every possible manner to make the process accessible and pleasant. EVM/VVPAT familiarization remains a major focus with the machines taken up through Vans for demonstration and hands on experience to cover all hamlets, booths and villages, besides colleges and organizations. While Booth Level Officer is the last and the most vital connect of ECI at the Booth Level, both in rural and urban areas, it is the other government field level workers like ASHA, Aanganwadi worker, Preraks of National Literacy Mission, who remain the most effective partner in our connect with the people in villages. Civil Society and NGOs help ECI in reaching out to the niche audience. Volunteers from organizations like NCC, NYKS, NSS, Bharat Scouts & Guides help facilitate voters on poll day and also help election officials in voter awareness. Mobilisation activities close to poll day help amplify the message and multiply the reach. These are high visibility events like runs, human chains, competitions, rallies etc and are widely covered in media and help raise interest and awareness. Celebrities are taken as Election Ambassadors and Icons to reach out to a wider audience. They have played an important role in motivating the people to associate with the electoral process.  
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      Women Outreach in Chatra

      Chatra district of Jharkhand has total population 676780 Electors under Assembly Constituency of 27-Chatra and 26-Simaria with 3,57,962 as Male and 3,18,818 as Female. Whereas electors under Chatra and Simaria is 4,29,973 with 2,13,940 as male and 2,16,033 as Female which is   50.24%. As per Census 2011 out of total population, 6% people lives in Urban areas while 94% lives in the Rural areas. The average literacy rate in urban areas is 80.9% while that in rural areas is 58.8%. Sex Ratio of Urban areas in Chatra district is 867 while that of Rural areas is 959. Referring to previous general elections 2014's Voters turn out at 54.32%, and 95% of population residing in rural pocket as per DCHB 2011 data and significant females too, hence District SVEEP team planned for intervention with women voters within rural pockets too, relying on presence of field teams of JSLPS [Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society under the aegis of Rural Development Department, Government of Jharkhand] to reach out the rural communities especially women to talk about their active electoral participation. Women’s self-help groups (SHGs) have been engaged as agents of social, political, and economic empowerment as well as a platform for transformation in many parts of the country. SHGs are “membership-based community institutions” whose members with mutual support attempts to transform every individual living under National Rural Livelihood Mission. Chatra JSLPS  is currently engaged with more than 75000 women in this district under this intervention, thus a wonderful platform at rural pocket. Each SHG comprises of 10–20 women from similar socio-economic backgrounds who live in the neighbourhood, meet regularly and save small amounts of money in a common account. Capitalizing on the quantum of SHG members, District SVEEP team decided to facilitate a medium for communication channel among  rural women. Women SHGs in the district, as standard practices conduct regular interactions for thrift and saving followed with discussion on local issues of their concerns from the neighbourhood among the members to benefit in creation of space for better living. This experience of being in a group and interacting with other women boost women’s self-confidence and their active participation in community processes. Presence of SHGs and their organizational capacities inspired District SVEEP Team to leverage for wider outreach of information on electoral literacy and active participation from all rural household. District JSLPS [Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society under the aegis of Rural Development Department, Government of Jharkhand] team played a pivotal role in harnessing the social capital with the engagement of Women SHG members for electoral participation. Training program were planned for community cadre at block level and supplemented with booklets and pamphlets on electoral process as a tool for reference. Post to the capacity building exercise, the community cadres initiated sensitization sessions with members of SHGs during their weekly meetings targeting to reachout their entire villages under the Block in months time. The community cadres started disseminating information on electoral process during weekly SHG meetings, Village Organization meetings and Cluster Level Federation meetings and concluded with a pledge to facilitate similar process with their neighbourhood  women  and family members. Special camps were organized for electoral list rectification and modification with information within these women SHG meetings for maximum outreach in coordination with respective BLOs [Booth Level Officer] in village as no voter been left behind.   Audio and video means were adopted by local Block level JSLPS Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society under the ageis of Rural Development Department, Government of Jharkhand team for information dissemination. There were villages with limited access to motorable road and reachable only by motorbikes, JSLPS community cadres and field staff organized meetings  with video clippings through small pico projectors and on Laptops. Apart from these, members of SHGs and their federation also helped in organizing events at village level and pasting election related posters at public places and raised slogans during their brief transact walk with billboards with messages of ethical voting as provided by district SVEEP teams. District Programme Manager- NRLM, facilitated planning meeting with all Block Programme Managers of 12- Blocks for conducting SVEEP activities across 154 Panchayat with members of SHGs on daily basis for wider outreach. To initiate this process, 01-day orientation session was held with all Block In-charges of JSLPS about SVEEP and its different component along with the formulation of key processes involved especially the usage of VVPAT machine. District JSLPS team played a vital role in implanting theses strategy for SHGS members through a planned training program for each and every cadre at block level and provided them needed booklets and pamphlets as a ready reference. After their training, the Block teams started working in their respective villages facilitating weekly SHG meetings, Village Organization meetings and Cluster Level  Federation meeting. As implementation plan, Team JSLPS planned for trickle down process for dissemination of the key messages for electoral participation under SVEEP through its block team.   As a common approach across all the 12 blocks, district JSLPS team designed a set of common messages to be part of their sensitization meetings with women as, ·         All eligible voters above 18 years must cast their vote along with the responsibility of mobilizing the other persons in their neighborhood, ·         Ensure names of all eligible voter in the electoral list of their respective booth- if not found, to contact the respective BLOs for enrollment support along with the needed forms for submission or any form of addition, modifications/ correction needed, ·         Disseminate the usage of VVPAT [Voters Verifiable Paper Audit Trail] machine, a new initiative of ECI during the general election 2019, with the help of available posters as provided by ECI [Election Commission of India] and on its functioning as display of paper slips of casted votes within the secret chamber for 07 seconds and ·         Mention the list of IDs cards permissible as mentioned by ECI to be carried on poll day by eligible voters in case of non availability of EPIC/ voters cards. During the process, discussions were also held on for free and fair election process and reporting of unfair incidents through cVIGIL applications available for download from Play store of android phones through Photos and Videos with a turnaround time of 100 minutes for redressal. JSLPS Block teams facilitated events of community meeting at village level, rally for mass mobilization with election related messages on billboards within their hamlet area, facilitated sandhya chaupal at prominent places within the villages, display of election awareness poster at prominent public sites-government buildings, video shows on laptop by CC [Community Coordinator of JSLPS] for face to face interaction within their neighborhood for mass mobilization for active electoral participation.   SHGs have effective coordinated structure well connected with members across the entire district of Chatra. It was a wonderful experience working them and learn on the means of message dissemination to the last pocket of rural communities effectively. These women are true champions and responsible citizens in many ways, as District Chatra experienced tremendous increase in women Voter's turnout than men in the Lok Sabha General Election 2019 and registered a significant growth from the previous General Election of 2014.  
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      #Go Assist – Unleashing the Power of Poll Volunteers for Accessible Elections

      #Go Assist – Matdata Mitras in the Abode of the Clouds, empowering the youth powering the nation – Unleashing the Power of Poll Volunteers for Accessible Elections -By F R Kharkongor, CEO Meghalaya   Matdata denotes an individual’s inalienable right to vote, and Mitra means friend. In Meghalaya this time, with the objective of ensuring that, “No Voter should truly be left behind” over and above other measures and initiatives, undertaken, hundreds of young and future voters were effectively mobilized as Election friends or Matdata Mitras, in the just concluded Lok Sabha Elections 2019, covering both the Shillong Parliamentary and Tura Parliamentary seats, spread over 3167 Polling Stations, across 60 Assembly Constituencies. Anchored on the firm belief, that it is critical to meaningfully engage the hearts and minds of impressionable young and future voters, a much larger dividend accrues from ensuring that, it is only by actually empowering the youth, that one can also tangibly power the nation. With this end in mind, to ensure the fulfilment of the 3E’s of Engage, Empower and Express, the initiative to involve, train and deploy the Matdata Mitras, became an article of faith for Meghalaya in the recently concluded LS 2019, in the context of Inclusive and Accessible Elections. The journey commenced a few months prior, to Lok Sabha Elections 2019, when the ECI sought specific inputs from the state, for developing suitable guidelines on the functioning of Poll Volunteers, which envisaged an enlargement and deepening of their role for LS 2019. Accordingly, building on the basic premise that “No voter should be left behind”, the role of the Poll Volunteer was gradually crafted and fashioned, aimed at meeting the objectives of inclusive and accessible elections. This initiative was gradually institutionalized by the ECI, as part of its general guidelines to achieve Assured Minimum Facilities (AMFs) in its entirety in a Polling Station, which act as a corner stone of electoral democracy. Through these assorted measures, the Poll Volunteer acquired a new centrality, on being listed as a mandatory AMF requirement, in Polling Stations, galvanizing Poll Volunteers to extend prompt and visible assistance for the broad swathe of voters, covering the hitherto marginalized and left out categories of People With Disabilities (PWD), the aged and infirmed. While making a Polling Station completely accessible, continues to be a challenge in hilly terrains like Meghalaya, faced with multiple difficulties, in ensuring smooth access for voters from road to Polling Stations due to rugged terrain. Also, in scenarios where ramps exist in Polling Stations perched on precarious hill tops, Poll Volunteers emerged as the ideal solution to surmounting these logistic and geographical barriers, with their ready presence, acting as a robust bridge and support to the aged and infirmed, ultimately making access of the marginalized to Polling Stations, both a doable and an achievable exercise. Preparations towards this end, started in right earnest, as the support of all key stakeholders was readily enlisted, drawing on members of leading Youth Organisations of the state, such as MBSG, NSS, NYK and also involving Ashas, Anganwadis and Community Resource & Rehabilitation Workers, in those locations, where a youth organisations presence was not pronounced. After a series of detailed deliberations, it was decided that the Scouts & Guides, would cover all Polling booth located in schools, both in rural and urban areas, the NSS meanwhile would expand its reach to all such PS located in colleges, and in urban pockets and in District HQs, whereas the NYK would cover Rural areas, and in locations and hamlets where its rural volunteers were functioning. This was followed by a State Level Workshop in collaboration with the Josh Talks Team of motivators and influencers. The training dwelled on aspects ranging from orientation about the constitutional and democratic rights, to accessible elections with a deep focus on a Poll Volunteers specific role, on how to be engaged meaningfully with the electoral process, The training also paved the way for sensitizing and orienteering the freshly minted volunteers to gain firsthand experience, exposure, besides offering a ring side view of the entire Polling and Electoral Canvas. Post training, and prior to their deployment as Poll Volunteer each volunteer, was provided colourful Poll Volunteer kits, comprising Election branded T-Shirts, Cap and poll volunteer paraphernalia to facilitate their visible and active presence and deployment in the field.. On Poll Day the Poll Volunteers truly lived up to their task, and were seen at many places actively assisting the PWD, the aged and infirmed in various Polling Stations. In some moving images, Poll Volunteers, stood proud testimony, to the ethos of compassion in action, carrying physically disabled voters, holding a senior citizens hand and escorting them to their respective Polling Stations, readily lending their shoulders to support the weak the old and the needy. The striking images of young shoulders and tender hands/eagerly and compassionately shouldering the tasks entrusted, remains etched indelibly in the public consciousness. Undoubtedly, the meaningful engagement of the Poll Volunteers this time, generated a substantial amount of goodwill amongst the voting community, at large, and particularly amongst the marginalized and peripheral voters, therefore, for whom Poll Volunteer’s involvement will be long remembered and cherished. Leading editors in their editorials lauded the maiden foray of Poll Volunteers in the election process on Poll Day. One of the editorials, even mentioned that “…..this is a major achievement in bringing inclusiveness in the way elections are conducted in the state…the support of volunteers like Scouts & Guides, NSS is a fresh initiative in making young people engage in democracy and have a firsthand experience in the electoral process…..with these measures the office has moved one step ahead, in making a point to ensure that differently abled people and senior citizen exercise their rights without any hassle by making the polling booth truly accessible to them”. In another editorial appearing in the state’s leading daily, it was mentioned by the state’s leading editor that “the ECI has done its job commendably surpassing past efforts, and actually turning the phrase “No voter to be left behind a reality……this time the CEO has pulled all the stops to enable physically disabled voter and the elderly cast their votes without hassle….boy scouts, girl guides and NSS volunteers were seen assisting voters and volunteering happily in all the activities”. The nascent promptings of this initiative has set a benchmark in electoral engagement of the youth, and is definitely going to have a positive ramification and a wider ripple effect, and perhaps herald a deeper and positive engagement of young people in all future elections. The authentic connect established is a manifestation of that trust, which in years ahead, is sure to further expand the narrative of inclusive democracy achieved through accessible elections. The legacy achieved undoubtedly is that of a Poll Volunteer’s indelible connect with democratic ethos and electoral democracy. Poll Volunteers collective involvement on poll day, in fact, contributed substantially to amplify the message of an increasingly inclusive and accessible election. These combined efforts will definitely fulfil the noble mandate of multiplying the electoral reach, to the unreached both in a physical tangible sense, and also in ways, that are intangible, sending out a loud message that there is an election machinery that cares about its young, its old and infirm and disabled that it is concerned for each and every voter, and that, truly every voter counts, to this effect the Poll Volunteer, has truly acted as a living bridge to democracy and in the process of being empowered, has also empowered the nation and, which in turn has enriched the entire inter play between the voter, the Poll Volunteer and the voting experience especially for the PwD aged and infirm. The involvement, meaningful engagement and services rendered by the Poll Volunteers was duly recognized and their engagement would be continued and sustained through the ECI’s democratic platform of Electoral Literacy Clubs and Chunav Pathshalas.  
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      Conducting a Green Election in Kerala

      For the first time in its history, Kerala held a clean and green election in 2019. Early in March, the Kerala high court banned the use of flex and non-biodegradable materials during electioneering. The CEO of Kerala, Shri TR Meena IAS, issued an advisory immediately after asking all political parties to refrain from using single-use plastic materials in poll campaigning, and advising them to opt for eco-friendly options, prompting them to consider wall graffiti and paper posters as viable alternatives. The collaboration of Kerala Suchitwa Mission was sought for, accordingly by doing the handholding this joint venture was carried out successfully in the whole state.  Along with the district administration in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, the Haritha Keralam Mission and the Suchitwa Mission, two government bodies looking at waste management, took steps to ensure a green election. The primary focus was to prevent the use of plastic and choosing reusable alternatives like glass/stainless steel/porcelain cutlery. The CEO and the Commission made it clear that banners and hoardings made of plastic material should be avoided. Instead it can be replaced by banners and hoardings made using paper and cotton cloth. Candidates were advised to try and avoid the use of plastic drinking water bottles during their campaigning and to use only eco-friendly items such as cloth and paper materials to decorate their campaign vehicles. The candidates and party workers were requested to hire steel plates and glasses for meals while campaigning. Polling stations, counting centres, and other election offices had also been directed to avoid plastic material, including water bottles. And almost all districts created a green model polling booth as a norm to be followed, and it also was useful in spreading awareness amongst the public of the efforts taken at the commission’s level to ensure that we walked the talk. And in an attempt to lead from the front the CEO created a booklet explaining all the ways in which the green protocol can be adhered to and enforced in the state. Not just that, all activities conducted by the Commission at the state level and even at the district level were entirely “green” events and promoted the plastic free message. Special events were organized by the district election officials to promote the green message including cycle rallies, processions by students and green protocol volunteers in different districts, signature campaign on cloth banners, street play on green election, flash mobs, beach run, sand art, quizzes, celebrity endorsements and messages from district SVEEP icons to adhere to green protocol etc. all under the aegis of SVEEP activities in the state. Not just that students from the Election Literacy Clubs (ELCs) created handmade paper pens and paper bags which was used to distribute polling materials to officials on polling day in various locations especially in Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha. Similarly at many Collectorates in the districts the candidate were welcomed with green materials when they came to file their nominations. The public was also encouraged to come up and report any violations that was noticed anywhere in the state for immediate action from authorities. As part of the green protocol, more than 17 lakh flex boards, banners, posters and stickers have been removed after the model code of conduct came into force in Kerala and up until counting day in the state. Election officials were absolutely objective and impartial in their enforcement of the code throughout the state and this helped them in ensuring that any sort of defacement was immediately dealt with. And while all political parties and candidates welcomed the move and took steps to adhere to the green protocol as much as possible, it was not 100% complete in the state this time. But this is the first step in the right direction and soon this will become the norm across the state.
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      stall at numaish

      In order to increase the awareness of the public, regarding all aspects related to the Election, a stall  has been set up in the All India Industrial Exhibition  (Numaish) Nampally. 2019 The stall is an initiative by the Election Commission to reach out to voters at the most popular venue of the year, which is the Numaish- Nampally. Nampally Exhibition 2018-19 is one of the biggest fairs of India with a wide variety of products alluring every visitor. The Exhibition which has  more than 2500 stalls, offers visitors with many interesting choices. Traders from all over the country come here to have their stalls at the exhibition. Along with this, even state and central government departments have their stalls. Numaish is also famous for the huge number of visitors that it attracts. This year Nampally exhibition is   recording  more than 24-25 lakh  visitors.   The Election Commission Stall in the Exhibition was inaugurated by the Chief Electoral Officer, Dr. Rajat Kumar. The stall which was set up with informative posters and a Live Demo of the EVM & VVPAT voting machine which was also very popular with the public. The facility for registration as New Voters was also being given at the Exhibition Stall. More than 220 Forms for Registration, ie. Form 6  have been issued at the stall and 63 filled up forms have been received so far. Form 8 which is used for  voter ID card correction were also issued to 52 persons and 21 of these have been filled up and submitted at the stall. Knowledge and information about other forms 7 and 8A was also disseminated to the public through this stall. SVEEP POST CARD CAMPAIGN.doc 1950 (18th March 2019) Documentary.docx Chunav Pathashala.doc Stall at Numaish.docx
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      chunav patshala in telangana

      Chunav Pathshalas or Electoral Literacy Clubs, are being set up across Telangana, in order to educate community members, mostly  in rural areas, to increase voter awareness and promote electoral literacy, in all age groups of citizens. The main purpose of these pathshalas or literacy clubs  is to familiarise the public with the electoral process of Registration and Voting. Chunav Pathshala  is usually  named after the polling station and is set  up and coordinated by the Booth Level Officer (BLO). The BLO takes the  responsibility to create awareness about the Chunav Pathshala, invite people's participation for the same and arranges for a fixed venue where the Chunav Pathshala will be held.  These Pathshalas are  being  held once in two months with the members meeting every  First Saturday of the alternate month  between 2pm and  4pm as per the time best suiting the location. The BLOs are maintaining a register of the members, and sending quarterly reports  to the DEO in regard of membership SVEEP POST CARD CAMPAIGN.doc 1950 (18th March 2019) Documentary.docx Chunav Pathashala.doc
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      1950 campaign in telangana

      1950 as a toll free helpline for the Election Commission of India number is not new to Telangana. The Department of Telecom allocated the number of 1950 to the ECI in 2014 for the purpose of registering complaints on poll related issues and the of ce of the CEO Telangana has been running a helpline with 1950, ever since.   In view of the impending General Elections, the Election Commission of India has strengthened its Voter Helpline to make it easy for the Voters to get authentic information pertaining to their voter registration. The range of services provided by the Helpline Number 1950 have been refurbished and made easily accessible. 1950 is being made the ' rst point of call' for all citizens looking for help in reference to electoral services. The 1950 Voter Helpline will provide Information, Feedback, Suggestion and Complaints to all citizens.   The enrolled electors in the Electoral Roll can check the details of their personal information, the Polling Station allotted for them to visit on the Poll Day, and also to know the contact details of Booth Level Of cers, Electoral Registration Of cers and District Election Of cers, by using the Voter Helpline Mobile App or through www.nvsp.in Portal or by calling 1950 Helpline Number.   SVEEP POST CARD CAMPAIGN.doc 1950 (18th March 2019) Documentary.docx
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      POST CARD CAMPAIGN FOR VOTERS IN TELANGANA

      Postcards may seem outdated in the digital age, but a unique initiative was planned using postcards to reach out to every household of Telangana. In addition, it is quite affordable when compared to other paid communications. This programme has been launched by the Chief Electoral Ofcer, Telangana, to ensure that every voter is reached out to and feedback collected from all the recipients of the mail though the pre-addressed postcards provided along with the letter. Since the goal of the this Postcard Campaign is to increase voter turnout, it is possible to cross-reference the mailing list or the Electoral Roll against turnout data to determine its effectiveness.This campaign is one of its kind in the country where a postcard is used as a tool to reach out to 1 crore households.   The Electoral Roll contains all the registered voters in any given area. It contains a variety of information, which includes: the voter's full name, address, date of birth. The Electoral Roll is crucial because the most accurate and common way to predict if someone will vote in an upcoming election is determining whether or not they have voted in the past.   Objective of the Voter Contact Post Card Campaign   The objective of the postcard campaign is to personally reach out to every household by the BLO. It is also aimed at collecting any query of feedback or suggestion that any voter can send directly to the CEO.   It also ensures that BLOs visit every household and distribute the letters and and collect acknowledgement of each letter.   SVEEP POST CARD CAMPAIGN.doc
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      National Voters’ Day celebrated at around 6 lakh PS locations on 25th January; President of India lauds initiatives being taken up by Election Commission in preparation for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019

      The 9th National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated across the country on 25th January 2019. The theme for NVD this year was ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’ reiterating the commitment of Election Commission of India (ECI) in view of the Lok Sabha elections due later this year.    Hon’ble President of India Sh. Ram Nath Kovind, while presiding over the National Function organized by ECI at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi hailed various interventions taken up by the Commission for conduct of free, fair and participative elections and particularly appreciated the initiatives for reaching out to voters in the remotest corner to enroll their names in the electoral roll and to encourage them to exercise the Right to Vote. Referring to his recent visit to Gir National Forest in Gujarat where he came know about set up of a polling station in the remote location that too for a single voter, Shri Kovind lauded the efforts of ECI to make every vote count in consonance with the theme of the year. He said that it speaks for the enlightenment of the framers of our Constitution that the Election Commission was set up as an independent and constitutional body at the very birth of the Republic of India. This reflects an immense regard and deep-rooted belief in democracy and the democratic spirit. Talking about the electoral process – beginning with the preparation of electoral rolls and concluding with the declaration of election results – he said it is difficult for an ordinary person to comprehend the complexity of the entire process. The President said that through all this, the credibility of Indian electoral system has continuously strengthened and Indian voters have a firm belief in the integrity, diligence, fairness and transparency of the election mechanism of the country.    Applauding winners of the National Awards the President asked them to keep contributing to conduct of free and fair elections. Congratulating the new voters who were handed over the EPIC on this occasion, he asked them to take informed decision while casting their vote and said that their decision will define the future of the country. He said voters and election commission are most crucial to democracy and they compliment each other and also appreciated various initiatives taken by the Commission under the SVEEP programme particularly mentioning the Electoral Literacy Club (ELC) Programme and the All Women Managed Polling Station initiative.   On receiving the inaugural issue of the new magazine of ECI he said that the magazine is most appropriately titled “My Vote Matters” and that every vote counts and counts equally in the formation of a government.   Speaking on the same occasion, Sh Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister, Law & Justice complimented ECI for the stellar role played by it for strengthening the Indian democracy. He lauded the courage, commitment and foresight shown by successive Commissions for conduct of free & fair elections and said that all should trust and believe the sanctity of the election process. Appreciating various initiatives of ECI for voter education and outreach he said voter education is integral to a good democracy.   Earlier while addressing the audience, Shri Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner reiterated Commission’s commitment to make elections more and more inclusive, voter friendly, transparent and festive and shared the new initiatives being taken up for efficient and effective connect with the voters and for strengthening the elector confidence. He briefed the audience about the cVIGIL initiative that provides time stamped evidentiary proof of model code of conduct and expenditure violation by empowering every citizen to click a photo or video using  Smartphone.   In his welcome address, Shri Ashok Lavas, Election Commissioner briefed the audience about the significance of the day, saying that on this day we celebrate liberty and maturing of young minds into responsible citizens and thanked all stakeholders including voluntary organisations for their support.   My Vote Matters, a quarterly bi-lingual magazine was launched at the function and the First Issue was presented by the Commission to the Hon’ble President of India. The new magazine hosts interesting and informative articles on many core subjects, new initiatives and topics of concurrent interest in elections, electoral processes and practices with the objective of developing a larger connect and interface with all the Stakeholders.   As part of the regular NVD activity of felicitating the newly eligible voter, 6 young voters from Delhi were handed over their EPIC by the Hon’ble President.   The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices were conferred to Officers for outstanding performance in the conduct of elections. Special Awards were given to Departments and Officers from various departments for their contribution in smooth conduct of elections the general election to the Assemblies of 9 states in 2018. In addition, Awards were also given to CSOs and Media Houses who have made outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach in these elections.  (Brochure attached)   Chief Election Commissioners and senior officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Russia and Sri Lanka graced the occasion. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides Diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections attended the national function and also visited the new campus of the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) at Dwarka, New Delhi.     

About Us

SVEEPSystematic 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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