Gangtok, Jan 25: (IPR) The 9th National Voters’ Day was celebrated at Chintan Bhawan today with the theme “No Voter to be Left Behind”. The programme was organized by the Office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Election Commission which was graced by Chief Secretary Shri A.K. Srivastava as the chief guest.
National Voters’ Day is celebrated to encourage more and more people to participate in the election process and increase voter enrolment.
The program also had the presence of Additional Chief Secretary cum Development Commissioner, Finance Department, Shri V.B. Pathak, Additional Chief Secretary, Human Resource Development Department, Shri G.P. Upadhyaya, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shri R. Telang, and District Collector (East), Shri Kapil Meena.
The programme commenced with lighting of ceremonial lamp by the chief guest followed by administration of pledge to vote.
District Collector, (E) Shri Kapil Meena in his welcome address highlighted the importance of National Voters’ Day and its significance, which is to encourage more young voters to take part in the democratic process.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Secretary, Shri A.K. Srivastava said that the NVD is being celebrated throughout the country on 25 January, because on this day the Election Commission was set up in India.
“It is a day to celebrate the right to vote to strengthen the democracy and generally the purpose of celebrating voters’ day is to increase the enrolment of voters and to encourage more people especially young voters for their effective participations during democratic exercise. The National Voters’ Day is a mark of power of every individual vote. Through the consistence efforts of the office of CEO, Sikkim we have achieved the figure of enrolment of 7,533 new voters this time between the ages of 18-19 years in the recently concluded enrolment process” said Chief Secretary.
He said that due to regular awareness programme, this time the enrolment of new voter has increased, and he congratulated the BLOs for their contribution and playing a decisive role in the electoral enrolment process in the state.
Chief Secretary further said that Election Commission of India (ECI) took various platforms to spread awareness particularly youngsters to register themselves in electoral process.
Earlier, CEO, Shri R. Telang informed about various features of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) and Electronic Voting Machines, its functioning, and how to operate and manage machines in detail.
“Digital platform like Voter Helpline Mobile Number, web portal nvsp.in, PWD app have empowered the voters more. It will help the electorate to get complete information about their electoral roll” said the CEO.
On the occasion, short message video of Chief Election Commissioner, ECI, Shri Sunil Arora was also shown.
The chief guest also launched voters Helpline Number 1950, awareness videos on election and message videos for election. It was informed that the Voters Helpline Number 1950 will start working from 1st of February, 2019.
The programme also saw various felicitation of awardees in different categories:
Best AERO award:
1. BDO, Namchi, Shri Bimal Rai
2. BDO Martam, Shri Deepak Rai
Shri Rabin Pradhan (east district)
Shri Bhim Raj Rai (west district)
Shri Mahendrra Kharel (south district) and
Shri Subash Rai (north district)
Best Campus Ambassador:
Miss Priyanka Thapa Assam Linzey Senior Secondary School, East Sikkim
Best Election Literary Club (ELC):
Rhenock Government College, East Sikkim
Best Performing Election Literary Club:
1. Sonamati Memorial Senior Secondary School Khamdong,East Sikkim
2. Namchi Girls Senior Secondary School, South Sikkim
Special Category Award
1. Zangpo Gyalsten (AD, IT)
2. Tashi Bhutia (LDC)
3. Nakul Rai (RDA, Assam Linzey)
During the programme, the Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) was given to first time voters by the chief guest.
The programme also saw the presentation of patriotic songs by the artists from Culture Department and awareness song by the students of Namchi Girls Senior Secondary School.
The winner for the State Level Indian Quiz contest 2018, Shri Navraj Bastola and Prabal Bhattarai from Mamring Senior Secondary School were also felicitated during the programme.
The programme also had presence of Mayor GMC, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, officials of various department, representative of various political parties, school heads, students and proud voters.
Mock voting station was also set up in the premises of Chintan Bhawan were visitors got first-hand experience on VVPAT machine and its functioning during the voting process.