The backroom boys of the poll process

Working hard: The staff handling the process of compilation and management of election-related data in Belgaum.

Working hard: The staff handling the process of compilation and management of election-related data in Belgaum.  

Vijaykumar Patil

10 people are working for long hours to make the job easy for others

Belgaum: A group of ten young people, drawn from different government departments and private institutions are working round-the-clock in a room on the Deputy Commissioner’s office premises of Belgaum.

They have little time to chat with visitors or among themselves, except for conversations pertaining to their job on-hand. All of them are pre-occupied with great responsibility of compiling and managing election-related data for 18 Assembly constituencies in the district to make easier the job of District Election Officer and Returning Officers and other staff engaged in the process of conducting elections.

But for the short breaks between the exhaustive work that it is, these young computer-skilled men are working day in and day out. They spent sleepless nights, working continuously for 30 hours to produce results in the given deadlines by the higher authorities. The pressure and stress on them is very high indeed. Some of them have developed backache owing to sitting continuously for long hours. Yet, none of them seem to feel the fatigue.

“We are enjoying our work. Though we are government employees and bound to do the work allotted to us, we are trying to give our best and stand up to the expectations from us,” says S.B. Magdum, one of the members of the team. It is noteworthy that the government honoured with a “Certificate of Appreciation” for his excellent work on compilation of data for redrawing of boundaries for 18 Assembly constituencies during the delimitation exercise.

“We —V.K. Deshpande, Ravishankar Channal, Shivaji Kolkar, Ajay, S.S. Birgaddi, N.V. Patil and M.F. Bharmannavar — are working with true team spirit where everybody is ready to help the other. Though the work allotted to us is comprehensive and requires absolute attention, we feel at ease,” Mr. Magdum says

This team has prepared comprehensive plans for conduct of elections individually for all the constituencies in the district. The database in these plans includes human resources involved in the election process, sectoral movement plans, details of polling stations with “criticality” reports, status of sensitive, hyper-sensitive and polling stations having presence of anti-social elements, voter strength, candidates, etc.

“Sometimes we feel physically tired and exhausted, but we are enjoying the work as every member in the team exhibits high-degree of spirit to work, coordinate and share pleasantries and keep everyone in good humour. Even the driver of the vehicle allotted to the team, Ashok M., has become an important member of the team. He will sit in the office all through the day and night and try to help out the staff in whatever manner possible for him instead of returning home for rest,” he said

Asked what they would do after the completion of election process? They said in one voice: “Sleep.”

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