Chandigarh (The Stellar News): The office of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Punjab today celebrated the 11th National Voters’ Day (NVD) in a virtual function held at Punjab Bhawan today. Keeping in view the COVID-19 Pandemic, the National Voters’ Day was virtually celebrated at the level of CEO and District Election Officers (DEOs), as per the guidelines of Election Commission of India (ECI). NVD was also celebrated at the level of Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) in all assembly constituencies (117) and all the polling booths (23,213) of the state of Punjab
The theme for this year’s NVD is “Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed”. It envisages active and participative voters during elections. It also focuses on ECI’s commitment towards conducting elections safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India, i.e. 25th January 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilized to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.
11th National Voters’ Day marks a landmark new initiative by the ECI with the launch of e-EPIC (electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card) programme. Voters can now view and print the digital voter card on their registered mobile. This was formally launched today by the ECI across the country. CEO, Punjab formally launched e-EPIC programme by downloading 5 new e-EPICs during the State level NVD at Punjab Bhawan. It was launched across Punjab at DEO level, ERO level and booth level.
During the event, the Dr. S. Karuna Raju, CEO, Punjab conferred the best electoral practices award to state and district level officers for their outstanding performance in different spheres such as Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP), electoral roll management, new voter registration etc. Details of the best electoral practice award are as under:
• Ms. Madhvi Kataria, IAS, Addnl. CEO, Punjab for excellent performance for SVEEP activities and electoral roll management
• Sh. Vipul Ujwal, IAS for electoral roll management
• Sh. Varinderpal Singh Bajwa, PCS for SVEEP
On this occasion, mobile vans were used at district headquarters in all the 22 districts of Punjab. Projected as ‘SVEEP Jhankis’, these mobile vans covered all the prominent places of the district headquarters with great fanfare, disseminating the messages of Voter awareness. A cultural extravaganza, district SVEEP icons were engaged to reach out to all stakeholders through performances like folk songs, dances like giddha, bhangra etc.
Film actor and state icon, Sh. Sonu Sood made a vote appeal through a video messages, which was played at State level function, DEO level functions in all the districts and was also played in the ‘SVEEP Jhankis’.
On this occasion CEO, Punjab released two books published by the department. These books include a coffee table book on SVEEP and a book on ‘boliyan’ – compilation of all the shortlisted boliyan received through a competition held at district level for women electors and Anganwadi workers. The coffee table book on SVEEP captures the challenging and exciting journey of conducting SVEEP activities amidst the pandemic.
11th National Voters’ Day also marked the launch of ECI’s Web Radio – ‘Hello Voters’. The programming style of Radio Hello Voters has been envisaged to match that of popular FM radio services. It will provide information and education on electoral processes through songs, drama, discussions, stories of elections etc. Programs shall be aired in Hindi, English and regional languages from all over the country.