Assam: Hailakandi administration’s all out efforts to enhance women participation in Lok Sabha elections

Coinciding with the festival of colours, Holi, DC Jalli played holi with the married Bengali women voters and distributed shakha (bangles) to them.


Hailakandi

The Hailakandi district administration is making concerted and relentless efforts to enhance the turnout of women voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the three Assembly segments of the district that fall under HP 1 Karimganj SC constituency on April 18.

Spearheading the campaign, District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli has been visiting different parts of the district to appeal to the women voters to come out and vote leaving behind their household chores for a while to assert their democratic right.

Jalli toured remote and far flung areas of the district falling under South Hailakandi development block to urge the women voters to make their presence felt in a big way on the polling day.

Coinciding with the festival of colours, Holi, DC Jalli played holi with the married Bengali women voters and distributed shakha (bangles) to them. She went from door to door appealing to them to vote.

To woo women voters and to inculcate hygiene on menstrual cycle, the administration distributed sanitary pads free of cost.

Believing in women power, the administration organised sporting events in which young girls and sportswomen demonstrated their sporting prowess and also took the pledge to persuade their parents, relatives, family and friends to come out on polling day.

“We have always believed in women power and pushing the message further are our own district’s young sports girls and sportswomen who have come together to join us in taking an oath in promising to get their parents, relatives, family and friends to come and vote for Hailakandi on April 18. We are proud of each and every one of these girls. May they reach more heights of success” said Jalli.

Saas-Bahu Sanmelan, Aideur Chora and Chandraprabha are being organised to sensitize women voters to increase their participation.

For the convenience of women voters, the administration has set up six women polling stations, two each in the three LACs.

Of the 4,82,744 voters, the total number of women voters is 2,28,760.

Lauding the efforts of the administration to increase the overall percentage of women voters, political observers point out that women are likely to play a decisive role in the upcoming general elections as their voting participation is likely to be higher than that of men in the upcoming polls.

According to them, though men still outnumber women in terms of registered voters, the actual turnout of women voters is increasing at a rate faster than that of men, and that would make the real difference this time.

“Their (women) rising participation at the ballot represents a remarkable trend; by 2019, it is plausible that women’s turnout will meet – or even exceed – that of men,” they opined.

Data from the Election Commission of India showed that the average turnout in general elections increased significantly in 2014 and the gender gap in terms of voter turnout was also lowest in the last general elections since Independence.

“Women’s rising turnout in elections and their growing political assertiveness will again be an important swing factor in the upcoming elections,” it said.

Besides women voters, the administration is also eyeing the first-time voters. Campaign to catch them has started gaining momentum. There are around 1.5 lakh first-time voters. There has been an increase of over 10,000 new voters this time.

The district administration, to its credit, has been making tremendous efforts to improve political participation among women through its SVEEP programme.

“With more up-to-date electoral lists and massive voter registration and awareness drives under SVEEP, it will be possible to analyse and understand the sex composition of voters in the upcoming elections, ” said District Information and Public Relations Officer, Sabir Nishat.

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