Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation members have made it their mission to raise voter participation among neglected communities in the city
With the district administration failing to identify deprived communities, the entire purpose of their election awareness campaign has been defeated. It is the volunteers from the Election Commission’s programme, Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP), who are attempting to reach out to every community and increase voter awareness and participation.
SVEEP’s first meeting with District Collector Saurabh Rao is likely to take place on Wednesday. The team will discuss the inclusion of other deprived sections and initiate new programmes to increase awareness among voters
They are planning to hold election awareness campaigns among army men in the Cantonment area, SRPF and CRPF soldiers in Daund taluka and tribals in Junnar and Baramati, to educate them on the election process and encourage their participation in the upcoming polls on October 15.
SVEEP’s nodal officer, Yashwant Mankhedkar, told mid-day that his team would focus on making sure that all communities would participate in upcoming state polls.
“Well-qualified upper middle class citizens will also fall in this category since many of them only register their names in the voters’ list, but do not head to the polling booths on election day,” Mankhedkar said.
He added that in Thane district, the transgender community has been identified as a deprived section, while in Solapur and Gadchiroli, more focus is directed towards spreading awareness among beedi workers and tribals.
“The district administration has not identified any such deprived section for Pune district, and therefore in the Lok Sabha elections, we were the ones who spread voting awareness amongst sex workers and transgenders,” Mankhedkar informed.
During SVEEP’s recent survey, volunteers found that SRPF and CRPF soldiers in Daund Taluka had registered their names in the voters’ list; however, they will be unable to cast their votes due to their outstation deployment.
Mankhedkar added that because of the same reason, army men in the Cantonment assembly segment were not able to cast their votes during Lok Sabha elections either. “Our main focus will be to provide them with ballot papers well in advance,” he said.
SVEEP’s first meeting with District Collector Saurabh Rao is likely to take place on Wednesday. “We will also consider including other deprived sections and initiating new programmes to increase awareness among voters,” Mankhedkar said.