Namchi, 08 May [IPR]:
Two-daylong training for District Level Master Trainers [DLMTs], Nodal Officers of educational institutions, National Cadet Corps, Nehru Yuva Kendra, National Service Scheme & youth hostel organized by the State Level Master Trainer [SLMT] for Electoral Literacy Club [ELC] was held at the auditorium of Namchi Government College in Kamrang, South Sikkim today. The programme organized by the Chief Electoral Office had the presence of Deputy Secretary [Elections], Tashi Choden Bhutia, Sub Divisional Magistrate [Headquarter], Hemant Rai, Principal, Kamrang College, Dr PR Poudyal.
Addressing the gathering as resource person, SDM [Kabi] cum SLMT, Mahesh Sharma, gave a detailed presentation on ELC wherein he emphasized on the aims and objectives of ELCs which he said will be responsible for developing and sustaining the electoral culture among future and new voters.
“ELC will also aim to develop a culture of registration and electoral participation right from the youngsters’ first election once they cross 18 years of age,” he added.
Mr Sharma further emphasized that ELC shall function as a mini election office to conduct simulated elections, organize events and activities that promote understanding electoral system and processes, electoral institutional structure, organization and electoral participation.
Additionally, he articulated the overall objectives of establishing of Electoral Literacy Clubs in schools and educational institutions which is to educate the targeted populations about voter registration, entire electoral process and related matters by engaging them through well designed attractive resources in hands on experience.
On the occasion, another resource person Under Secretary [Election], Tripti H Subba, also presented a brief about ELC wherein she underlined the significance of ELC which is to have citizens informed and aware about electoral process, motivation and facilitation for electoral participation and promoting informed and ethical voting.
She added that it is imperative to identify key organizational partners from government as well as non-government sector namely that of school and colleges and guide them as they will be effective instrument of engaging young and future voters. She also highlighted the gathering that ELC will assist in developing effective electoral engagement, encourage participation, aid in making informed choices and ethical ballot decisions which she shared is extremely vital in a democratic country.
The training also had the participants and the resource persons develop a calendar of ELC activities.