After appealing to citizens to get their names listed on the electoral rolls, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has introduced a slew of initiatives in the bid to increase voter turnout during the impending elections. M. Dana Kishore, electoral officer and commissioner GHMC, has come up with several proposals to celebrate what he calls the ‘festival of democracy’.
“The whole idea is to celebrate the spirit and festival of democracy. We want to empower voters on their right to cast their franchise and to make effective use of it,” Dana says, adding, “Our initiatives are aimed at engaging public in social activities amid communicating the message about democracy and ethical voting.”
While some activities like Karthika Deepotsavam (at Buddha statue), an exhibition of photography at MGBS and street art plays are already underway, others like cake mixing (baking and icing), signature campaigns on ethical voting, comedy and band shows, rangoli and setting up of selfie booths (where voters can click a pic and flaunt their ink) are set to take off.
“Dana Kishore garu gave us the call to celebrate the progression like a festival. The response to the Karthika Deepotsavam event where we have light lamps to spread the message about ethical voting, and photography exhibition where we have displayed the photos of a 90-year old coming to vote, have been encouraging,” explains Hari Chandana, commissioner, West Zone. The authorities believe such activities will enhance the voter turnout.
“People are showing great interest in these activities and are participating in large number. Several youth, NGOs and corporates are also helping us in effectively implementing these programs,” Hari adds.
To encourage street art on democracy — which involves people painting their streets with messages on ethical voting — prizes have been announced for the best one.
Lastly, for the first time in the country, GHMC has come up with an App with the acronym VAADA (voter accessibility app for differently-abled) to make sure that the forthcoming elections are accessible and inclusive....