Community Radio stations to help in voter education & awareness

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Community Radio Stations across the country assure to contribute their best for voter education & awareness. 120 Community Radios attend SVEEP workshop of ECI at IIIDEM

In a first of its kind initiative, the Election Commission of India has reached out to over 150 Community Radio stations from across the country to help educate and inform the voters.

The event was organised by India International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Management (IIIDEM), in partnership with Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation (SMART), at IIIDEM, Dwarka, New Delhi.

The main purpose of the workshop was for training and capacity building of Community Radios for voter education and awareness.

In the Valedictory address on March 29, 2019, Mr. Umesh Sinha, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, ECI said that the Community Radio is one of the best medium to reach the last voter of the country.

He said that these workshops were just the beginning to a long term and sustained engagement and Community Radio can play a vital role in motivating and mobilising the voters, enlisting the underserved voters into the electoral roll, mobilising them to go to the polling booth, educating them about their rights and responsibilities, and making them an informed and educated voter.

He emphasised that every voter is the first representative of the country, they are the soldiers and play an important role in protecting democracy. All voters across the country have the same power. Elections provide a level playing field as each vote has the same power, no matter who casts it –the richest of the rich or the poorest of the poor.

He said that Community Radio can play an important role in strengthening democracy by developing content in their local dialects and deepening the process of voter education and awareness upto the grass root levels.

He assured that Community Radio Stations will now become an integral part of the voter education programme.

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Deputy Election Commissioner & DG, IIIDEM on March 25, who iterated that Community Radios can play a pivotal role in increasing voter enrolment and participation in the “Festival of Democracy“.

He said that the tag line of ‘No voter to be left behind’ was to ensure that each and every eligible voter irrespective of his or her economic status, class, caste or profession understands the importance of his or her vote.

He talked about the measures taken to include migrant workers, homeless, tribal persons, persons with disabilities (PWD), service voters, NRIs.

He said that the effort of the Commission is to ensure fair and fearless elections and that Community Radios can play an important role in assisting Election Commission.

Ms. Archana Kapoor, Founder of SMART, said that inclusion of Community Radio stations in the campaign is also recognition of the work by being done at the grass root levels by the stations. The stations will broadcast programmes in their own dialect and will develop 5 programmes each, besides broadcasting promotional material.

Ms. Kapoor assured that Community Radio station, across the country, will contribute their best for voter education.