Please vote: Artistic poll booths grab eyeballs
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Please vote: Artistic poll booths grab eyeballs

April 3, 2023

Awareness campaigns through art being taken up to attract urban voters and improve voting percentage

By Mohan Kayaka

Ever since the Election Commission took up the SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) programme under many themes for greater participation for a stronger democracy, the voting percentage has been on a steady rise but not to the expected mark.

Taking a leaf from older campaigns, the District Administration is trying out new methods of voter awareness to further increase the voting percentage, especially in the urban areas where the dislike for politicians, their parties and hollow promises has manifested into a bigger problem — a huge drop in the voting percentage.

Ahead of the Assembly polls, Mysuru is trying a unique approach to popularise voting. The walls of polling booths in the city have turned into a canvas for sending a message on the significance of voting in an artistic manner.

“Priya mathadarare…! Illi banni… deshada hitakkagi nimma amoolyavada matha chalaisi… (Dear voters, come here and cast your valuable vote for the sake of the country) said one such poster.

The District Administration, Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) and District-level SVEEP Committee have jointly taken an initiative to create awareness of compulsory voting by drawing attractive paintings on the walls and pillars of polling booths. The painting works have been completed in five to six prominent polling booths, inviting the voters to their democratic right and responsibility.

The meaningful words that form the messages on voting, written in Kannada are as follows — “thappade mathadana maadi” (vote without fail), “nimma matha rashtrakke hitha” (your vote is for the country’s good), “uttama bharathakkagi matha haaki” (vote for a better India),  “voter ID hondiruvudu neevu bharateeyanendu thorisuttade, aadare matha hakuvudu neevu obba jawabdhari bharateeyanendu torisuttade”, (Voter ID shows that you are an Indian, but voting shows you are one of the responsible Indians), “banni matha haaki”(come and vote), “nanna matha nanna bhavishya” (my vote is my future), “prathi mathavu athayamulya” (every vote is valuable), “uttama rajyakkagi matha haaki” (vote for a better State), “mathadana namma prathama kartavya” (voting is our primary duty), “uttama naalegagi indu matha chalayisi” (vote today for better tomorrow) and “jagrutha mathadara rashtrada bhavishyavannu bareyuttane” (an awakened voter writes country’s future).

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The paintings of the Tricolour, army and soldiers, Policemen and various others that form an integral part of society, are a sight to behold that really inspire the voters.

The walls and pillars of the buildings of Government Higher Primary School, 7th Main Road, Paduvarahalli (Vinayaka Nagar), Government Higher Primary School, Jyoti Nagar, Government Higher Primary School, T.K. Layout, Government Kannada Lower Primary School, HUDCO Layout, Bannimantap and Government Primary School, KSRP Police Quarters, have been painted in such an artistic manner to disseminate the message on voting, while the painting works are underway at several other booths.

Over 10 professional painters are involved in the task of wall painting with messages, recreating the scenes of polling stations, with voters amid Police security, maps of Karnataka and India, national symbols, and Police and soldiers in uniforms among several others.

Nodal Officer of District-Level SVEEP Committee Ranjit Kumar told Star of Mysore that various awareness programmes have been taken up to increase the percentage of voting as per the direction of the Election Commission of India.

“Enhancing the look of polling booths is one such initiative, to strengthen the faith of voters in democracy and also the importance of voting, to eventually increase the percentage of voting being the main purpose,” he said.

“These theme-based decorations aim to attract more voters to polling stations during the festival of Democracy. Our officers who are working at the grassroots are also educating voters,” he added.

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