SVEEP: Initiative on educating voters
SVEEP: Initiative on educating voters. Between March 28 and April 13, there have been 38 awareness campaigns under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Election Participation Plan (SVEEP) that have been conducted in the city.
Between March 28 and April 13, there have been 38 awareness campaigns under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Election Participation Plan (SVEEP) that have been conducted in the city.
Systematic Voter’s education Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Campaign, is organised under the joint initiative of the Election Commission of India, the State Election Commission, the district authorities including the Education Department, the Civil Supplies Department, Labour Department, Woman and Child Welfare Department, Information and Public Relations Department, Nehru Yuva Kendra and Major Industries Department. The aim of SVEEP is to increase awareness among the people on the importance of voting.
To better implement SVEEP in all the constituencies in Hyderabad, District Election Officer (DEO) Somesh Kumar conducted a survey using 2,400 people as the sampling group. The group consisted of 100 voters from each of the 24 constituencies. This was incidentally the first official survey of voters conducted in the state for any election.
In the survey, it was found that 93.67 per cent of the voters possessed voter ID cards and 86 per cent of them knew about the elections and the respective dates. On the other hand the survey also noted that polling rates dropped drastically among the weaker sections of society.
Pointing out the reasons voiced by voters for the low turnout, Somesh Kumar said, “People are unaware of the polling stations; they are also intimidated by the weather conditions and long queues.”
Nidhi Pandey, election observer, Election Commission of India, said that the voters ID was just being utilised as an identity card and it was not being used by the voter to emphasise his or her franchise.
SVEEP wants to encourage people to cast their franchise in the upcoming elections. In the previous elections that were held in the years 2004 and 2009, the voter turnout in the city was 52.46 per cent and 48 per cent respectively. As part of the SVEEP initiative, there were many oath campaigns, awareness campaigns, rallies and meetings conducted throughout the city. There were close to 18,000 people who attended these programmes till April 11.
The highest turnout of public for SVEEP activities was recorded at an awareness campaign which was organised on April 4 by the Woman and Child Welfare Department at Ghouse Nagar, Mahamad Nagar, JB Nagar, Rithu Bagar, Sulthandara and Hussani Bagh, Shaikpet, Quli Qutub Shah Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, T Anjaiah Nagar, SC Bose Nagar, Arogya Nagar and Nandhi Nagar. Some 3,095 people attended the programme.
The lowest turnout was recorded at an awareness rally on April 9 that was organised by the Major Industries Department at Ramnagar. Only a meagre 80 people attended the event.
As per the last elections the lowest voting percentage was recorded at Bahadurupura (48.82 per cent), Karwan (47.82 per cent), Lal Bahadur Nagar (47.37 per cent), Nampally (45.7 per cent), Quthbullapur (50.32 per cent ), Uppal (42.39 per cent) and Yakutpura (50.84 per cent).
But not many SVEEP programmes had been conducted in these areas. Only one awareness programme was conducted in the Yakutpura area which witnessed the participation of 350 people and one programme was conducted at Nampally which saw the participation of 150 people.
SVEEP in RR District
Rangareddy district also covers a few constituencies which form a part of the city like, Uppal, Qutubullapur, Medchal, Malkajgiri, LB Nagar and Serilingampally. The lowest voters’ turnout as per the 2009 elections was recorded in a few of the areas in the district. Anantham, SVEEP officer, RR District, said, “This time we have planned the implementation of SVEEP in an elaborate manner. We have distributed brochures, posters, pamphlets and leaflets to all the field officials for distribution.”
They have also directed all the District Educational Officers to implement the written oath initiative in all the schools in the district. As part of this initiative, all the students will have to get a signed petition from their parents which says that all the eligible members of the household will exercise their franchise without fail.
B Sreedhar, Collector, RR District, held a meeting with close to 200 factory owners. In the meeting he directed the owners to ensure that all the workers and labourers in the factory come out and vote, since the polling day has been declared a paid holiday. A similar initiative has been implemented on all the co-operative banks in the districts. All the heads of departments have been asked to ensure that they leave no stone unturned in their election duties. They will also be sending personalised voicemails to 12 lakh ration card holders in the district.
“A few programmes have already been implemented and the remaining like in many areas of Secunderabad, Uppal and LB Nagar, would take off in the next two days. Because, if we begin too early people tend to forget which is why we are holding it back for the peak moment,” said Anantham.