NGOs add strength to SVEEP

Folk teams being used to create awareness on voting in villages

 Even when the committee under SVEEP (Systematic voters education and electoral participation plan) has been creating awareness programmes to increase the percentage of voting through stickers, banners and handbills, here is Apna Desh volunteers group, Janashikshana Trust in association with Grama Vikasa Kendra have been silently creating awareness among the general public on the need to exercise constitution right of voting.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Jana Shikshana Trust Directors Sheena Shetty and Krishna Moolya said that the Trust in association with Apna Desh has been creating awareness since 1990s, the time when T N Sheshan was the Chief Election Commissioner, who had brought in revolution in the system.

“Since then, we have been distributing pamphlets urging the villagers to exercise their franchise.”

This year,  Sugrama Elected Gram Panchayat Women Members Federation in Mangalore, Puttur and Bantwal taluks, Grama Vikasa Kendra motivators have been creating awareness among the general public. Under Sugrama, there are around 20 gram panchayats in Mangalore taluk, 15 in Puttur taluk and 18 in Bantwal taluk, said Krishna Moolya.

Shetty said that around 10,000 pamphlets have been printed to be distributed among the public.

The  services of neoliterates are also being utilised in creating awareness.
The pamphlets will also be distributed among Naxal infested areas, to motivate the villagers to take part in voting, said Sheena Shetty and added that even folk teams will be used for creating awareness in Mudipu, Balepuni villages. The members will visit houses, shops, and other public places to create awareness.

The pamphlets said, “citizens are kings in a democratic set up. The voters have a Herculean task to elect their representatives who will fulfil the basic demands of the village. The voting right should not be wasted at any cost. It is a holy right given to the citizens in the Indian Constitution. The voters should exercise their franchise judiciously.”

It called upon the citizens not to get carried away by the dubious methods  followed by the political parties and false promises made by the candidates. It said, “let us join hands in forming a good government, which can provide good administration and let us help in making a model state. Let us join hands for free, fair and peaceful election. It also cautions the voters to keep their ballot a secret.”

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