SVEEP proves useful tool, 10 pc rise in female turnout in four phases
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: With the introduction of SVEEP programme by the Election Commission of India in 2010, a greater awareness and enthusiasm about the importance of voting right has been observed amongst the electors. This has helped in increasing the overall voter turnout in the on-going Assembly elections in the State.
During the four phases of current Assembly elections in the State there has been 0.22 per cent increase in female voter turnout as compared to 2008 Assembly elections. The overall increase in women voters is 10 PER cent i.e. 62.54 per cent as compared to the corresponding elections in 2008 which was 53 per cent.
According to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J and K, Umang Narula, there was a gender gap of 4.41 per cent in voter turnout during 2008 Assembly elections with male voter turnout at 65.28 per cent and female voter turnout at 58.86 per cent.
The post SVEEP scenario has changed the picture and helped in female voters out-numbering their male counterparts in many districts viz Kupwara, Poonch, Udhampur, Leh, Anantnag, Samba, Reasi, Doda and Kishtwar. The implementation of SVEEP programme has shown encouraging results in increasing the voter turnout in respect of youth and women voters particularly. The mass media like radio, TV film, print and social media, inter-personal communication are used to educate the voters regarding importance of voting rights and duties. The female voters are made aware through radio jingles, TV spots, Anganwadi and ASHA workers, posters, school rallies, colleges, ambassadors, seminars, symposium, debates and slogans etc.
The voter friendly initiatives like online registration of electors, voter slips, establishment of model polling stations, Q-management, name search option on CEO website, pre-poll and poll day reminders through mobile operators, web casting of vulnerable polling stations, healthy electoral rolls, rationalization of polling stations to maintain the walking distance upto 2 km, postal ballots for service voters and election duty employees were taken by the Election Commission of India.
In the ongoing Assembly elections, 595 Model Polling Stations were set up in the above districts to provide additional facilities to voters to make voting a comfortable experience for them. Separate queues at polling stations also facilitated the women voters. To meet the challenge of increasing the voter turnout, the SVEEP initiative of ECI helped significantly in motivating the voters, especially the youth and women.