By Our Reporter, TNT News | Shillong Jan 25, 2018:
Along with the rest of the country, Meghalaya today celebrated the 8th National Voter’s Day, under the theme: “Accessible Elections”.
In the State capital, Shillong, the Run for Democracy was organized as part of the celebration followed by the official programme at Fire Brigade Ground, Shillong wherein Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, P. S. Thangkhiew attended the gathering as the Chief Guest.
Expressing his happiness that out of the total 18,31,000 odd voters in the State, about 3683 differently abled voters have registered themselves in the electoral rolls, the Additional Chief Secretary said that it is important to note that we are looking at an event where we are going forward at providing access to the citizens of the State who are less fortunate 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, he added.
During the programme, the Chief Guest also led the gathering in administering the Voter’s Pledge. Other highlights of the programme includes unveiling of paintings by Persons with Disabilities, Release of Braille SVEEP materials & EVM/VVPAT animation and National Records of Limca Book of Records, felicitation of the visually impaired footballers – Klingson D. Marak and Gabriel Nongrum who are the members of the Indian Blind Football Team, felicitation and distribution of EPIC to the Millennium Voters – voters who are born on January 1 in the year 2000 and have attained the age of 18 on the first day of this year, and distribution of prizes to the winners of the Democracy Run 2018 among others.
Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya, F. R. Kharkongor, Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills, P. S. Dkhar and Padmashri and State Disability Icon, Bertha Dkhar, Bethany Society also spoke on the occasion.
Additional CEO, Meghalaya, T. Lyngwa, Joint CEO, Meghalaya, T. G. Momin, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, C. Kharkongor and other Government officials was also present at the official programme.
National Voters’ Day is celebrated on January 25 every year. The significance of National Voters’ 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 of India adopted a Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation strategy in 2009 and it got reflected in a range of policy initiatives, programmes and activities. It’s popularly known as SVEEP.