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‘SVEEP’ing strategy for voter awareness

Shankar Bennur
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Nursing students taking out a jatha to raise voter awareness, under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation programme in Mysore in Monday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
Nursing students taking out a jatha to raise voter awareness, under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation programme in Mysore in Monday.— PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

‘SVEEP’-ing strategies are being worked out to increase voter awareness and improve voter participation in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

This year, many innovative exercises have been proposed to make a larger impact on voter turnout as part of the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP), an initiative of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to address voter apathy.

SVEEP aims to address voter participation, especially in urban constituencies. The District SVEEP Committee is headed by P.A. Gopal, Mysore Zilla Panchayat CEO.

An illuminated hoarding in Kannada urging citizens to vote will be installed atop Chamundi Hills, a prominent landmark visible from all corners of Mysore city.

Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC), which has partnered with the administration here to spread voter awareness under SVEEP, will be installing the hoarding which will be lit every evening until the elections.

“Like the CESC, many departments have partnered with SVEEP to educate voters. The illuminated hoarding, such as the one usually put up during Dasara, is being installed for the first time,” says A.R. Prakash, Deputy Director, Department of Information, Mysore, who is also the SVEEP Nodal Officer in Mysore district.

Speaking to The Hindu , he said the work order for the same had already been issued by the CESC and the hoarding will be ready in a week’s time.

He said the Department of Public Instruction will take pledges to compulsorily vote from the parents of one lakh children studying in primary and high schools in the district.

This year, under SVEEP, hoblis are also being covered. Jathas and awareness campaigns are being conducted to educate voters on their rights.

Drawing new young voters has been a challenge and to address this the Department of Collegiate Education recently organised oath-taking by students from all government first-grade colleges in the district.

100 hoardings

The Election Commission has roped in eminent personalities, sportspersons and celebrities, to motivate people to exercise their franchise.

The former president, and eminent scientist, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is a brand ambassador for the ECI. Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal has been roped in to motivate youth and women.

Mr. Prakash said 100 hoardings on voter awareness were being installed across the district with messages from celebrities.

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