FROM A STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Jan 25: Along with the rest of the country, Meghalaya celebrated the 8th tiol Voters’ Day on Thursday with the theme ‘Accessible Elections’.
A ‘Run for Democracy’ was organised as part of the celebration followed by the official programme at Fire Brigade Ground here where Additiol Chief Secretary PS Thangkhiew was the chief guest.
Expressing his happiness that out of the total 18,31,000 odd voters in the State, about 3,683 differently abled voters have registered themselves in the electoral rolls, the Additiol Chief Secretary said, “It is important to note that we are going forward at providing access to the citizens of the State who are less fortute and are deprived of most of the rights entitled to them. They are the assets of the society, empowering them and providing them access is a way by which they can contribute for a better society and also make this whole exercise in the election process a success.”
During the programme, the chief guest also led the gathering in administering the voters’ pledge.
Other highlights of the programme included unveiling of paintings by persons with disabilities, release of Braille SVEEP materials & EVM/VVPAT animation and felicitation of visually impaired footballers Klingson D Marak and Gabriel Nongrum, both of whom are members of the Indian Blind football team, felicitation and distribution of EPIC to the Millennium Voters – voters who were born on 1st January 2000 and have attained the age of 18 on the first day of this year – and distribution of prizes to winners of the “Run for Democracy”.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) FR Kharkongor, East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner PS Dkhar and State Disability Icon Bertha Dkhar, Bethany Society also spoke on the occasion.
Additiol CEO T Lyngwa, Joint CEO TG Momin, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities C Kharkongor and other government officials was also present on the occasion.
tiol Voters’ Day is celebrated on January 25 every year. The objective of observing the day is to encourage more young voters to take part in the political process. It is a day to celebrate the right to vote for a vibrant democracy. The day was first celebrated in 2011 to mark Election Commission’s foundation day.
To increase people’s participation in the electoral process, the Election Commission adopted a Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) strategy in 2009 and it got reflected in a range of policy initiatives, programmes and activities. It’s popularly known as SVEEP.