Election Commission of India today honoured its Brand Ambassadors and Partner Agencies for their contribution to voters’ participation in the recent assembly Elections in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. At a function held in Surajkund, Haryana at the start of a two day national Conference of Chief Electoral Officers, the Commission felicitated seven personalities and 21 organisations. The Brand Ambassadors included pop icon Remo Fernandez, mountaineer Bachhendri Pal, environmentalist Sundar Lal Bahuguna, satirist Jaspal Bhatti, actors A Gokul and H. Sarjubala and folk singer Malini Awasthi. They were presented with a Scroll of Honour and shawl each. Departments and Agencies which were felicitated for significantly contributing to SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) efforts of the Commission included National Service Scheme, Red Cross, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Punjab National Bank, Department of Field Publicity, Lucknow, Youth for Goa (NGO), ISTV Imphal, Jan Sanchar Chetna Trust, Dehradun, Civil Defence, Dehradun, Industry Association Uttarakhand, Shri Deven Bisht & Group from Uttarakhand, Doordarshan, and All India Radio. There was record turnout of voters in the recent State elections and women outnumbered men in all the States following sustained educational and awareness campaigns.
The Chief Electoral Officers of the 35 States and Union Territories were present on the occasion besides top officials of Election Commission.
While honouring the Brand Ambassadors, Dr. S.Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner underlined the historic achievements in voters’ participation in recent elections , particularly the high turnout of women and youth. He acknowledged the contribution of several national and regional Icons in motivating voters, apart from the range of facilitation and education measures taken by the Commission. Dr. Quraishi called upon banks and post offices to take up electoral roll registration work making use of their contact with the customers.
Election Commissioners Sh. V.S.Sampath and Sh. H.S.Brahma highlighted the qualitative improvements in recent Assembly elections in five States and called for consolidation of these in future elections. Director General of Election Commission of India, Sh. Akshay Rout also spoke on the occasion. The brand ambassadors presented glimpses of their campaign for Voters’ Participation in their respective States.
Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Indian Cricket captain, M.S. Dhoni are already promoting people’s participation in electoral process over the last two years at the Commission’s request. Besides them, there were a host of regional Icons who promoted voting in the state elections in 2010 and 2011. They include famous folk singer, Smt. Sharda Sinha in Bihar; singer Zubin Garg and actress Nishita Goswami in Assam; percussionist Bickram Ghosh in West Bengal; Athlete Ms. Preeja Sreedharan in Kerela, Smt Rohini, Sh Surya, Sh Karthi, Smt Suhasini Maniratnam, Sh Gopinath, Sh Vijay Antony, Sh K Srikkanth, Sh J M Ravi, Smt K S Chtira, Sh. H S Prannoy, in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. There were higher turnouts in these elections also including all time record in some states.