Students, NSS and Nehru Yuva Kendra volunteers participate in voters' awareness relay-run

Distribution of Electors Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) to the newly enrolled voters in the district commenced on Wednesday on the occasion of National Voters Day observation.

As many as 1,18,734 newly-enrolled voters in the district are to be issued the EPIC. On Wednesday the cards were distributed at the polling stations. New voters who have not received the cards at the polling stations would be issued the same through a door-to-door exercise by booth level officers over the next few days.

A voters' awareness relay-run, flagged off by Collector Jayashree Muralidharan, was taken out in the city on the occasion. A large number of college students, National Service Scheme and Nehru Yuva Kendra volunteers participated in the run from Mambazhasalai to Mainguard Gate.

Ms.Muralidharan emphasised the need for youngsters to enrol their names in the voters list and exercise their franchise without fail. While 70 per cent of the total population of 27.12 lakh of the district have been enrolled in the electoral rolls, the percentage of youngsters on the rolls was rather low. Only 2.25 per cent of the youth in the age group of 18 to 19; 6.6 per cent of those in the age group of 20 to 24 and 9.2 per cent of those in the age group of 25 to 29, have enrolled themselves in the voters list in the district.

Youngsters should strive to reverse the situation and enrol their names without fail during the summer holidays by approaching the respective taluk offices.

They can also register online through the Election Commission website, she said and called for sustained efforts to ensure that all eligible youth were enrolled in the rolls. Later, at a function Regional Passport Officer K.Balamurugan inaugurated the distribution of the EPIC cards to new voters by handing over the cards to a group of voters.

Mr.Balamurugan underlined the need for youngsters to uphold democratic values. Youth should come forward to include their names in the voters list in large numbers and discharge their democratic duty. He distributed prizes to winners of quiz, essay writing, elocution and poetry competitions organised by the district administration and the Field Publicity Office .

Students were also administered a pledge to uphold democratic values. Self help group members staged a drama.

S.Jayapandian, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), P.Manickam, District Revenue Officer, and others spoke.