Leaning back on his chair,Sub-Divisional Officer (Sadar) Lawmkima laughed out loud and said,”It was right after the rains when we went to eight remote villages to encourage voters to vote. You can’t imagine the condition of the roads then,but this may help; our Bolero’s foot-boards fell off.”
In a campaign that begun as early as July,the administration of Serchhip district has gone all out to ensure it bags the highest turn-out on record to compliment it’s reputation of being the most literate district in India at 98% of residents knowing how to read and write.
Led by Deputy Commissioner Juhi Mukherjee,officials have been traveling through the district that hosts three Assembly constituencies to ensure a voter turn-out of at least 95% to compete with Tripura’s 92% turnout,the highest on record for a General Assembly.
As many as 56 Ashas,154 Anganwadi workers and 20 Gram Sevaks have visited all the district’s households,establishing face-to-face contact with the 44,871 electors in the three seats and inviting them to vote on November 25.
In addition,eight “campus ambassadors” have been roped in to campaign in the district’s higher secondary schools and colleges,their role particularly to educate first-time voters on how to enter the rolls and teaching them how to fill up forms.
Besides appointing local unit members of mass-based civil society organizations and student unions as ambassadors in their respective neighborhoods and villages,district officials have been holding end-on-end public meetings to maximize the voter turn-out.
“There is actually no way to tell the highest turn-out district-wise. So we are taking Tripura’s record turn-out as a target and trying to beat that. As of now,we think we can,” said election officer Lalhmansanga.