TIRUCHI: 13, March: With the elections to the Tamilnadu State Assembly approaching, Trichy Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYK), a Union Government Organ had organized voters awareness camp in SYSTEM centre on 13th, March Sunday here in Kalaiarangam Premises. Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYK) youth conducted awareness cultural events of the youth for the public creating awareness among the masses on the importance of voting and the need for ensuring cent per cent polling. On Sunday launched a voters’ awareness campaign in the Kalaiarangam locality here by reaching out to individual persons and urging them to exercise their constitutional right by casting their vote in the forthcoming State Assembly elections. They went around the locality and urged the voters to cast their vote compulsorily and choose the candidate of their choice who could deliver goods to them and protect the interests of the region and the State.
Mr.K.Subramanian, District Youth Coordinator in his campaign inaugural address said’ It is the youth clubs of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYK) units of the various Blocks of Trichy District that have spearheaded the campaign as part of sensitising the electorate to their fundamental duty. The campaign has been necessitated to improve the percentage of polling in both the urban and rural areas’. District Coordinator further said NYK is at sensitizing voters about the importance of participating in the electoral process as a way to ensure a responsive, accountable and democratically elected government. In a democracy, a free and fair vote is the fundamental tool through which citizens can express their political preferences and developmental wishes. However, in representative forms of democracies, merely casting the vote may not be adequate to hold the elected officials and the executive accountable or to foster a responsive and transparent government. Therefore, providing voters with information on the electoral process, are necessary to educate them prior to the polling day is critical to enable them cast an enlightened and informed vote.NYK aims to precisely do that to provide such critical information and in doing so, create better-informed, more motivated citizenry and, ultimately, a more responsive, transparent and accountable government’.
Mr.Thesnathan, PIB,Chennai said’, ‘the campaign should be an attempt to reach out to maximum numbers of youth, raise awareness on the importance of voting across India to increase the voting percentage in various cities. It should be supported by youth organisations of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), and National Service Scheme (NSS). There should also be campaign to have a series of cultural activities (Skits, Dances & Songs) highlighting the importance of voting and being an active social citizen coupled with election related factual information.’
Dr.K.Govindaraju, Chairman of South Zone Board of Continuing Education (OZONE) in his presidential address said ‘`Your Vote empowers you'-Voter Awareness Campaign is aimed at making people aware of: the importance of their participation in the electoral processes either as voters or candidates; the modes of participation; the procedure to become eligible for voting and to actually cast their vote; the ways to assess the poll-worthiness of a candidate. The goal of the Voter Awareness Campaign is to create an environment for free and fair elections and to encourage in particular, the participation of marginalized groups such as women, the minorities, special ethnic communities and the poor’. The Chairman further said that election campaign should be conducted by adapting the methodology to the local socio-political context with core objectives such as Ensuring access to information to help people make an informed choice, Increasing awareness of the election process and of voter rights, Helping to ensure that the issues of citizen concern are part of the campaign agenda, making candidates to be responsive and accountable, Providing particular support to promote the participation of women and marginalized groups,Createing an environment conducive to for holding free and fair elections, with a focus on maximum participation of citizens, Act as a watchdog of electoral practices, to ensure there is no electoral manipulation, corruption, or violence’. He further said that OZONE and Nehru Yuva Kendra, will concentrate imparting voters’ awareness on the areas having a low literacy rate, and use more of audio-visual techniques and less of print media for disseminating electoral information. A deeper knowledge of the local context will also help assess the extent of electoral malpractices such as proxy-voting, vote-buying, booth-capturing, dummy-candidates, existing forms of political patronage, etc. which, in turn will be useful to design the voters campaign more effectively’. Media partner of DWC, Mr.L.Shanawas Khan said that he will webcast the events for reaching the internet users and subsequent education to the rural masses by the internet users.
Advocate/ Social Activist D.Dharmaraja said ‘the concept behind voters’ awareness is to motivate citizens to join hands in participatory governance. One of the key organisations backing this initiative is Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. He further quoted the statement of the Election Commission that they are happy that the youths of the country have decided to come forward to make people aware of the importance of their democratic right. Over 100 youth of NYK presented a series of informative activities, including street plays, dance drama and songs among others. Advocate Dharmaraja also alerted the voters and saud’If you don't vote, you don't have the right to criticize your government '' he said. During the performance of several street plays and songs, many passersby and visitors at the Kaliarangam campus were drawn to join the initiative and take part in the campaign. Selvamani of SEVAI said: "I came here out of curiosity and my children definitely enjoyed the event. I am happy that they got to learn something as part of their leisure time.'' Earlier Mahesh Welcomed the gathering and Kumar proposed vote of thanks. Senior Journalist V.Jawahar Arumugam proposed to have perfect training of youth in thematic cultural event once the elections are over.-Etram News Service.