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Students help Attappady tribespeople link Aadhaar, voter ID

The drive evoked warm response from the tribespeople as the students reached out to them braving several hurdles, including arduous trek paths and elephant threats

October 03, 2022 08:48 pm | Updated October 04, 2022 09:56 am IST - PALAKKAD

A Student Police Cadet member greeting an elderly tribal woman during a campaign in Attappady.

A Student Police Cadet member greeting an elderly tribal woman during a campaign in Attappady. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Electoral Literacy Club, the Student Police Cadet (SPC) and the National Service Scheme (NSS) units of Government Vocational Higher Secondary School at Agali, Attappady, conducted a joint campaign to help the tribespeople living in the remote jungles of Attappady to link their voter identity cards and Aadhaar cards.

The drive evoked warm response from the tribespeople as the students reached out to them braving several hurdles, including arduous trek paths and elephant threats.

The students reached the hamlets at Kuruvankandy, Thavalam, Parappanthara, Kunnanchala, Plamaram, Narasimukku and Mamana and helped the residents link their Aadhaar cards with their election IDs. The students also covered the SC Colony in the Attappady block.

At Kuruvankandy hamlet, local tribal chieftain and block panchayat member T. Maruthan inaugurated the campaign by linking his IDs. The State election office at Mannarkkad lent technical support to the students.

At Mamana hamlet, 77-year-old voter Lachi led the campaign by linking his Aadhaar with his election ID card.

School’s community police officers P.B. Johnson, Cicily Sebastian and K. Sreeja, cadets Jitin Biju, Anandu S., Mohammed Naseef P.K., Vishnu Satheesh, Mohammed Nihal A., Hida Fatima, Shahina S., Electoral Literacy Club district master trainer and SPC community police officer T. Satyan led the campaign.

Booth-level officers Geeta and Janaki, election deputy tahsildar from Mannarkkad Maju G., and clerk Jijin V. too joined the drive.

The SPC cadets and Electoral Literacy Club volunteers of the school had won appreciation in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections held in recent years when they made the people living in remote tribal hamlets come out and vote in groups. “The students played a significant role in coaxing the tribespeople from different hamlets to come out and vote at their designated polling stations,” said Mr. Satyan who has been coordinating them for the last few years.

Following the students’ intervention, the polling booth at Chindakki witnessed 73.08% polling, which was a record.

The students had introduced voting machines and VVPAT machines to the tribes using their community language. The tribes of Irula, Kurumba and Muduka at Attappady speak their own dialects. It was easy for the students from the respective communities to reach out to their people in their own dialect.

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