Students and teachers of Marwari College at the oath-taking ceremony in Ranchi on Thursday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Around 500 students of Marwari College, Ranchi, took an oath on Thursday to exercise their franchise without being influenced by caste, creed, religion, language during elections a day before National Voters’ Day, observed every year since 2011.
Falling before Republic Day, the day commemorates the foundation of the Election Commission of India. It also celebrates voter participation, including youths, to strengthen the rich democratic tradition of India.
The 30-minute event organised on campus was aimed at fostering a sense of responsibility among students towards exercising their ballot so that they choose the best leaders in the fray.
This event assumes even more importance with Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
College dean of students’ welfare R.K. Tantia told The Telegraph that students were told that their votes counted if they wanted their country to change, cut the deadwood and progress.
“We told our students that they were among the 77.78 crore voters across the country. They play a huge role in electing Assembly and Parliament members. If they don’t participate in the national and state level elections, there is every chance of incompetent persons getting elected, ruining governance in every field,” Tantia said.
“I came to know during Tantia sir’s speech that out of 2.32 crore new voters added to the electoral roll across the country, 93 lakh are between the age group of 18 and 25. I’m one of them and my vote counts in forming the government,” said BA Part I student Sanjay Tigga, who took the oath to vote.
College principal U.C. Mehta said he was glad that students took an interest in the programme.
“Since 2011, a voter awareness week is also organised every year from January 18 to 25 to create interest among youths. Today’s programme was a part of that. Democracy will stay vibrant if youths take up voting seriously and exercise their franchise to elect the right set of leaders. Students and faculty members took part in the event with equal gusto,” he said.
On Friday, governor Syed Ahmed will participate at a function at Red Cross building in Morabadi where state election commissioner S.D. Sharma will be the special guest.