Every Senior Voter Matters in 2019 Election

by HelpAge India March 26, 2019 1 comments Cause of Serving
Every Senior Voter Matters in 2019 Election

The dates of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 were declared by the Election Commission of India on March 10, 2019. The polling will happen in 7 phases across the country according to the Commission’s announcement.  It will start from April 11th till May 19th, 2019.  The counting of the votes will happen on May 23, 2019 and the results will be out on the same day.

Mr. R. Selvamani, Chairman of Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation Program (SVEEP) and Chief Executive Officer of Dakshina Kanadda Zilla Panchayat, have initiated the process to identify the areas with higher number of seniors to set up special booth for them.

These special booths for seniors will have special aids like, walking sticks, wheelchairs and magnifying glass to make it convenient for the elders to vote. Ramps will also be set in the booth to make it accessible for the elders.

Transportation for the senior citizens will be provided to reach the voting booth and volunteers will be appointed to help the elders if needed.

A report released by the Ministry of Statistics in March 2019 said that the number of citizens over the age of 60 jumped 35.5 per cent — from 7.6 crore in 2001 to 10.3 crore in 2011. In 2019 elections, this population will be a major factor in deciding who comes to power.

Issues such as health care, medical facilities, pensions, retirement scheme, and prescription drug prices will be upmost in the minds of the older people as the Election Day comes nearer. To make sure that their needs are met and concerns are heard about the issues that affect them and they care about, getting older people more engaged and active during the polling season is very important.

The number of Indians over the age of 60 has hit an all-time high, accounting for 8.6 per cent of the country’s 121-crore population, according to latest official figures from Ministry of Statistics.

Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency consist of a large number of people with disabilities, therefore apart from setting up a booth for the elders, another booth will be created for people with disabilities.

There will also be Pink booths, a booth managed by women since Daskhina Kannada Lok Sabha Constituency has more women than men. While the Constituency has 16, 97,417 voters in total, 8, 63,599 are women and 8, 33,719 are men. The Constituency comprises of eight Assembly segments namely, Belthangady, Moodbidri, Mangalore City North and South, Mangalore, Bantwal, Puttar and Sullia. There will ethnic booths for all the people of the State from different cultural background to make the process of voting easier. In total, there will be around 50 booths in total.

Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency will go to the polls in the second phase on April 18.

Mr Selvamani confirmed that the state will hold demonstration of electronic voting machines (EVM’S) and Voter Verifiable Pare Audits Trails (VVPATs) in various parts of the states, like the malls, parks and Mangalore City Corporation. About 656 teams have finished demonstration in 1,014 polling booths. A total of 1, 53,870 voters have applied their franchise during the demonstration of EVMs and VVPATs. The State also plans on creating awareness on voting by conducting walkathons, cyclothon and marathons in different parts of the city to increase the participation of people.

Awareness on the power of vote and choosing the right leader for our country is the need of the hour. Therefore it is very important that each individual knows the power they hold when they decide to vote. It is important to create awareness in the society because it is absolutely necessary that each one of us realize the difference they can make by their vote.

The committee is hosting a Beach Kite Festival and Sand Art Competitions  in the city on March 23rd– 24th, to create awareness on one’s right to votes. The State has requested MESCOME and KSRTC to print the date of voting on their bills and travel ticket. Likewise Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Union Ltd. (DKMUL) will also be printing the date on their milk sachets. HelpAge India Eluru Helpline team has also participated in a similar awareness drive organized by Disabled & Senior Citizen Welfare Department and attended by local senior citizens from Andhra Pradesh to encourage elders to exercise their right to vote.

The committee has taken steps to print the information on one lakh hand bills and distribute it in the state circulation to create mass awareness. To further promote the cause, 8000 posters and 55 hoardings will be put up and circulated as a part of the awareness program.  A Helpline Number 1950 is set up to take up queries and details related to voting.

The State plans on intensifying the awareness programs especially in the areas which had poor voter’s turnout in the previous Assembly elections, especially in the rural areas, where the awareness program is led by anganwadi workers, health workers, Asha and SHG members.
The right to vote is the foundation of any democracy. The vote represents the voice of people and is therefore a powerful tool to exercise to bring about a change in their city and their country as a whole. It is vital for the citizens to understand the importance of voting and engage in the process to become egalitarianism warriors in their own communities.

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