RED CARPET, decorated colourful tents and glasses of rose-flavoured sharbat — all this gave voters a feeling of being at a wedding when they arrived at the Government High School in Sector 47, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
There was more. First-time voters got boxes of sweets after casting their vote while senior citizens and disabled voters got wooden mementos of Chandigarh’s Open Hand from the presiding officer.
The polling station was managed by the staff of Model Jail, Burail, under the supervision of AIG (Jail) Virat.
Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, O P Mishra (IG Prisons) said, “After deciding to make it a model polling station along with three other stations in the city, we thought of giving it a vibrant look. The polling station was all decorated and the jail-made furniture and other items were also kept inside the school, which helped us brand the Srijan shop, which is owned by the Burail Jail at Sector 22, Chandigarh.”
“Special sweet boxes of 250 grams, made by jail inmates, and wooden mementos were distributed to the special voters to encourage them and promote voting”, Mishra said.
As per Gurjeet Singh, Block Level Officer in Sector 47, around 75 sweet boxes were distributed to the first-time voters, and around 60 mementos were given to the senior citizens and disabled voters.
Nivedita, 19, a first-time voter who received a sweet box after casting her vote, said, “It feels like I am here to attend a function of democracy, where I get sweets in return after voting.”
Sone Kali, 82, of Sector 47, who turned emotional on receiving the memento of Open Hand from the presiding officer, said, “Although I have come just to cast my vote, officials here have honoured me with the memento which is priceless. It feels great.”
Andrew Ayre, Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission to Chandigarh, also visited the Sector 47 polling station and praised the arrangements made for the voters. The polling station had two polling booths, where 1,355 votes were cast.