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State Election Department’s statewide drive to create mass awareness about ensuing Lok Sabha polls
City Correspondent
 GUWAHATI, March 14 - Pitha making competition and performance of naam are becoming effective tools for the Assam State Election Department in its drive across the State to create mass awareness about the ensuing Lok Sabha elections among the general public.

 Besides such competitions, the State Election Department has also engaged a number of noted personalities as State icons to sensitise the people on the need to cast their vote.

According to prestigious Whitley Award – also known as the Green Oscars – winner Purnima Devi Barman, who has been appointed as one of the icons by the State Election Department to create mass poll awareness in the State, the effort (pitha making contest and naam) has got a very good response among the womenfolk and made the objective of the campaign successful. It may be recalled that Barman had won the Whitley Award for her efforts in conserving greater adjutant storks.

“In the past few days I have taken part in some mass awareness meetings conducted by the State Election Department in Kamrup district. People are very enthusiastic to know more about the electoral system. The effort to increase public involvement in the campaign through such competitions has also shown very good results,” Barman told The Assam Tribune here today.

According to Barman, the main work of a State icon is to inspire and motivate all sections of people to take part in the electoral process. The awareness campaign covers higher educational institutions along with other sections of public, especially women.

Apart from Barman, the Election Department has also appointed singer Tarali Sarma, sprinter Hima Das, actor Kapil Bora and bodybuilder Golap Rabha as State icons.

Sharing her experience as a State icon, Tarali Sarma, who is in Dibrugarh to take part in the awareness drive, said, “Our duty is to inspire all voters to take part in the electoral system and make them aware of the new technique being used in the voting system. It is a wonderful experience and I have seen that many people have lots of doubt about the voting system. The campaign also aims to make the common people realise the value of every single vote.”

The State Election Department has also started a campaign called ‘Aaideur Chora-2019’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections across the State to make female voters aware of their voting rights. It is a joint venture of the Chief Electoral Officer of Assam and the Assam State Rural Livelihood Mission (ASRLM) which aims to mobilise women’s self-help groups to sensitise the female voters about the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation programme and to facilitate differently-abled voters with ‘accessible election’.

Under the campaign, efforts have been made to spread awareness about voting rights amongst prospective voters at the block, cluster and village levels, popularisation of the 1950 helpline number, the National Voters Service Portal, etc.

Under the campaign, the State Election Department will also start appointing village ambassadors across the State. These village ambassadors will spread the message of voter education and electoral participation among the masses by using various materials to be provided by the Election Department.

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