Ampati, February 16: The Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs) Meet and Training, the first of its kind in the district, was organized by the South West Garo Hills District Committee on Electoral Literacy as part of the Systematic Voters’ Education & Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Programme at St. Claret Secondary School, Ampati on Thursday.
The meet saw participation by recognized ELCs from various schools and colleges across the district along with their teachers besides the district officials, booth-level awareness groups (BAGs) and others youth and students. During the meet the members of ELCs and BAGs conveyed the message of ethical voting and the need to exercise the right to vote through their drill displays, skits and songs.
It may be mentioned that ELCs are being formed in educational institutions across the district as part of ECI’s streamlining of SVEEP activities for educating and capacity building of the youth for enhanced and informed electoral participation among the new and future voters.
Participating in the meet as the chief guest, the District Election Officer & Chairman, District Committee on Electoral Literacy, Ampati, CVD Diengdoh expressed his happiness that ELCs are being formed in schools and colleges in the district because the students as youths have the power to get their voices heard and motivate their fellow students and family members to participate in the electoral process. “Since voting is our precious right, it is also our duty to go out and vote”, he said, adding that when one exercises his or her right to vote, one indirectly participates in the election of the highest office of the country and of the state. He also said that the ELCs formed in their respective schools should not be only for the election period but should remain active throughout the year and become part of their co-curricular activities.
The DEO recalled that in the last elections, the district’s turnout was 90% and said that this time the district should aim for 95% turnout and urged all eligible and young voters to come out in large numbers to vote on February 27.
Earlier, teacher and nodal officer, ELC of St. Claret School, Ampati Lawrence Sangma, in his keynote address, spoke about the influence of money power that vitiates the spirit of democracy during elections and called for rooting out corruption from grassroots level by not accepting bribes for votes.