More youngsters should come forward and exercise their franchise as "each vote counts", an Election Commission (EC) official said Monday.
"Voters are the central actors in a democratic country. Only 35 to 40 percent of voters aged between 18-20 were casting votes. Three years ago it was as low as 10-15 percent. Every single vote counts in an election, so more youngsters should come up and cast their vote," said Akshay Rout, director general of the EC.
He was speaking to over 600 first-time voters from various colleges in and around Delhi as part of Vote for India, a mass awareness campaign in association with, to celebrate the National Voter Awareness Week.
On the first day of the week, mascot "Mr Votu" was unveiled.
"Mr. Votu a plumpy man who looks like a common man...will educate people about the role and importance of casting a vote...we are also visiting various colleges in Delhi," Neeraj Gupta, director, Vote for India.
Apart from the mascot "I Vote for India" anthem was also launched.
Speaking to the first-time voters, Press Council of India chairperson Justice Markandey Katju said: "Cast your votes on merit basis. Don't vote for anyone based on their caste or religion."