Getting ready to vote for the first time in the coming general election, a large number of young voters enthusiastically took part in the National Voters’ Day rally here on Saturday, 25th January.
Prakasam district Collector G.S.R.K.R.Vijay Kumar led the impressive rally from the Prakasam Bhavan to the DRRM High school along with young people who sported badges which read ‘Proud to be a voter’ and ‘Ready to vote.’
Speaking on the occasion, he stressed the importance of all eligible persons getting enrolled as voters and participate in elections, a prerequisite for a vibrant democracy.
Six septuagenarians who had voted in all elections held so far were honoured on the occasion.
Seventythree-year-old S.Lakshmidevi from remote Racherla won a huge round of applause when it was announced that she had not missed to vote in any of the elections held in Independent India.
As many as 21 students from different city colleges, who had motivated fellow students to enrol themselves as voters, were given certificates so also school students who took part in quiz, elocution and essay writing competitions on strengthening the roots of democracy.
A pledge was administered to the assembled persons to fulfil their responsibility of voting in every election fearlessly and without getting influenced by considerations of religion, race, caste, community, language or any inducements.
Senior Citizens honoured
The observance of the National Voters Day in the city on Saturday was marked by a felicitation to half a dozen senior citizens who participated in a maximum number of general elections from the district. Collector Siddharth Jain, speaking on the occasion, exhorted the people to take the cue from the ‘senior voters’ and exercise their franchise in every election. Superintendent of Police S. Harikrishna expressed anguish over the low voter turnout, which become a common feature in every election of late for want of public awareness and a sort of apathy in a section of people.
The trend would spell a danger for the health of democracy in the country, he observed while appealing to the fresher’s who were enrolled as voters in the recent past to cast their vote in the coming general election without fear. A massive rally was organised on the occasion under the aegis of the district administration to create public awareness on exercising their right to vote in the elections.
Meanwhile, the authorities of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at Bhimavaram launched an initiative named `Awaaz-2014’, coinciding with the National Voters Day. According to the school Principal L.V. Rama Devi, the initiative is intended to create public awareness on voting in the youth and students in and around the town.
The students from the school took out a procession which culminated into a meeting at Prakasam Chowk with an appeal to the people to strive for quality in the functioning of the Parliamentary democracy in the country by voting for the right persons without getting influenced by freebies.
About 1.26 lakh voters have been enrolled in the district since January 15 last year, taking the total tally of the voters to 19.72 lakh. Nearly 40,000 voters of the total electorate in the district are in the age group of 18-19 years.
Giving these details at a meeting held in connection with National Voters’ Day here on Saturday, Collector I. Srinivas Sri Naresh said about 70 per cent of the enrolled voters exercised their franchise in the last general elections in the district.
Superintendent of Police A.V. Ranganath, Additional Joint Collector Babu Rao, District Revenue Officer Shiva Srinivas and others were present.
District Judge S.M. Rafiq has appealed to the voters to exercise their franchise and protect the democracy.
Speaking at the ‘National Voters Day’ celebrations here on Saturday, Mr. Rafiq asked the voters to vote for a candidate who raises their problems in legislative bodies.
“Due to use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) for the past few years, incidents of rigging, booth capturing and the activities of anti-social elements during polling have come down”, said the district judge.
Collector and District Election Officer S. Suresh Kumar explained the young voters on the importance of a vote. He called upon the voters to prove the unity of the country by using their ‘right to vote’.