Chamba: Four Poll Icons Appointed


In a strategic move to boost voter participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Chamba's Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer, Mukesh Repaswal, announced the appointment of four poll icons as part of the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme.

Appointment of Icons

Under this initiative, 

✅Padma Shri award winners Lalita Vakil, Musafir Ram, and Dr Vijay Sharma have been appointed as icons representing the art and culture category. 

✅Additionally, Asian Shooting Championship bronze medallist Farhan Mirza has been appointed as the youth icon.

Lalita Vakil, a craftsperson, has played a significant role in preserving the Chamba 'rumal' embroidery, which is globally popular. The royal art of Chamba, which has been passed down since the 16th century, was slowly fading away, but thanks to Lalita's contribution, the art has been revived. She has received several awards for her work, including the Kala Rattan and Shilp Guru awards, the Nari Shakti Puruskar Award, and most recently, the Padma Shri Award 2022.

Musafir Ram Bhardwaj, a musician from Himachal Pradesh, India, is a player of the traditional musical instrument Paun Mata. He learned how to play Paun Mata from his father when he was just 13 years old and has continued to play it ever since. The Paun Mata is a copper drum with a lamb's skin, and Bhardwaj's family has been playing it for generations. They are frequently invited to play at religious and social ceremonies in Himachal Pradesh. Bhardwaj was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014, and he performed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Dr. Vijay Sharma, an Indian painter and art historian, is an expert in the Pahari school of miniature painting. He has been a senior artist at the Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba for years. Dr. Sharma received the Padma Shri award in 2012 for his outstanding contributions to art and art history.

Purpose and Impact

The primary objective behind appointing these icons is to raise awareness among voters and attract participation from diverse sections of the constituency. This initiative is expected to significantly contribute to increasing voter awareness and encouraging active participation in the electoral process.The appointment of these poll icons reflects a proactive approach by Chamba's electoral authorities to engage and motivate voters, ultimately strengthening the democratic process.

‘Greater Participation for a Stronger Democracy’

The Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program (SVEEP) stands as the cornerstone of voter education and awareness in India, spearheaded by the Election Commission of India. Since its inception in 2009, SVEEP has been instrumental in empowering Indian electors with essential knowledge about the electoral process.

Empowering Electorate

SVEEP aims to foster a truly participative democracy by encouraging every eligible citizen to exercise their right to vote. Through comprehensive educational initiatives and targeted interventions, SVEEP seeks to equip voters with the necessary information to make informed decisions during elections.

Targeted Interventions

  1. Tailored Strategies: SVEEP tailors its strategies based on the socio-economic, cultural, and demographic diversity of each state.
  2. Historical Insights: Learning from past electoral participation and trends guides the design of effective interventions.

Key Objectives

  • Voter Awareness: Promoting awareness about voting rights and responsibilities.
  • Informed Decision-Making: Empowering voters with knowledge of candidates and electoral processes.
  • Increased Participation: Encouraging higher voter turnout for a stronger democratic voice.

Impact and Progress

Over the years, SVEEP has made significant strides in enhancing voter literacy and engagement across India. Through innovative campaigns and educational outreach, SVEEP has contributed to a more informed and active electorate.

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