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Country-wide programmes to mark National Voters' Day

Monday January 24, 2011 09:02:20 PM, IANS

New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil will distribute electors photo identity cards (EPIC) to five newly eligible voters at a function here Tuesday to mark the first National Voters' Day.

The union cabinet had last week decided to observe Jan 25, the day the election commission of India was set up in 1950, as the National Voters' Day.

The newly enrolled voters will be given a badge with a slogan "Proud to be a voter - Ready to Vote," during the felicitation ceremony. They will also be administered a pledge.

An election commission official said that newly eligible voters and those who registered with Jan 1, 2011 as the qualifying date will be felicitated in over eight lakh polling station areas across the country Jan 25.

The spokesman said a large number of voters' education activities were being taken up in various states, including multi-media campaigns to popularise electoral participation.

The observance of National Voters' Day is expected to give the youth a sense of citizenship, empowerment, pride and participation and also inspire them to exercise their franchise, the official added.

The commission had also launched a countrywide campaign to reach out to the newly eligible (18+) electors and to register them in the revision of electoral rolls.

"As a result millions of youth in the 18-19 age group have been enrolled," he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni had said last week that the election commission had decided to take up a vigorous exercise to identify all eligible voters reaching 18 years of age Jan 1 every year.

They will be enrolled and given the EPIC card Jan 25 every year at a brief felicitation to be organised in each polling station area, she added.

The Election Commission, which celebrated 60 years of its setting up last year, is organising a valedictory function of its diamond jubilee Tuesday.

The president will present awards for best electoral practices to eight officials.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, members of the commission, political leaders and former chief election commissioners are expected to attend the valedictory function.





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