Shillong(Meghalaya) ,Jan 25: Commemorating the foundation day of the Election Commission of India in 2011, the 12th National Voters Day was observed today on the theme, “‘Making Elections Inclusive, Accessible and Participative”. The programme organized by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya was held at the State Central Library here .
The Chief Secretary of Meghalaya, Ms. R V Suchiang graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
Addressing the gathering, Ms. Suchiang said that the importance of the day was to remind every citizen of this country of their rights as voters. By participating in the electoral process, citizens who have attained the age of 18 play a crucial role in ensuring that the fundamentals of democracy, a government by the people, of the people and for the people, are kept alive. Adding that the preparation for election is a continuous process, she said that works for ensuring that the electoral roll is proper, enrolment of those who have attained eligibility, creating awareness, ensuring the fitness of polling stations in terms of basic amenities etc. are all year‐round activities aimed at ensuring that each and every person who is to play a role comes forward to exercise his/her franchise.
Ms . Suchiang also expressed hope that with the advent of technology and online engagement, the youth and urban voters will participate in greater numbers and in doing so it will reach a point where no voter is left behind, which is one of the objective of the ECI. She also informed that despite the pandemic, the state have risen to the occasion by conducting the by-election last year. She also urged the election machinery in the state to collectively work towards a Covid safe election and also in following Covid appropriate behaviour.
During the programme, the commission incorporated sign language assistance to translate the speeches delivered by the delegates and other members.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said the initiative was in line with the Election Commission’s commitment towards making elections more inclusive, accessible and participatory.
He further encouraged other departments to follow the same.
As part of the programme, EPICs were also distributed to newly enrolled voters. State BLO Icon and District BLO Icon were also felicitated. The BLO Ready Reckoner and Directory and the ELC Electorama- Volume II were also released during the day. The Chief Guest also inaugurated the Photo Exhibition Democrarcy@50 at the venue and distributed prizes to the winners of the various ELC competitions.
Earlier the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District, Ms . Isawanda Laloo flagged off the Walkathon “Walk for Democracy” from Madan Iewrynghep which culminated in the State Central Library premises.