Dharwad: After taking up voter enrolment drive on a massive scale, the Election Commission has intensified its campaign to ensure maximum voter turnout. It has roped in all departments dealing with youth and women, and is holding programmes to create awareness on the importance of voting in a democratic set-up.
Apart from holding lectures and distributing literature, the EC has been using entertainment as an effective tool in its mission Systematic Voter's Education and Electoral Programme (SVEEP).
By organising street plays, folk songs, debate competitions, film shows at vantage points like bus stand, railway station, market place, shandies and main junctions in cities, towns and villages, the SVEEP committee is making all efforts to make the voter exercise his/her franchise.
In a bid to attract the urban youths, the Dharwad district election officer Sameer Shukla has been successfully using social media and making the e-savvy take part in discussing the importance of voting.
Local channels on TV and radio are also being used to create awareness. The meetings conducted at Gram Panchayat levels have received good response with large number of people belonging to various voluntary groups and women organisations attending the meetings.
Two boys - Vinaykumar Mahadev Patil and Vaishkah Mehendale who have just finished their SSLC examinations took up a cycle jatha from Dharwad to Bangalore to spread the 'Vote Maadi' message from April 13 to 17 and covered a distance of 425 kms.
Information Dept chips in
Department of Information (DoI) is not lagging behind in accomplishing the mission.
A special vehicle of the Department of Information is touring different parts of the district and urging voters to vote. It will tour the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) limits on May 2 and 3.
The personnel will distribute handbills, play music and arrange photo exhibitions to convey that "voting is your right, exercise it without fail".
Vijaya Bank, which is the lead district bank, has joined hands with the Department of Information in this cause.
Campaign through paragliding across the state is the latest means to attract the people.