Schoolchildren with placards walk in the rally as teachers and rural health workers form a human chain at the voter awareness campaign in Bokaro on Tuesday. (Pankaj Singh)
Ironic it may sound, but schoolchildren are telling their elders to vote.
So are rural masses to their urban counterparts.
Unhappy with the low polling percentage registered in urban zones of Bokaro steel city and Chas township in the last Assembly and general elections, the Bokaro district administration has made students and rural people the pilots of an awareness campaign to improve voting percentage in the approaching Lok Sabha polls.
The schoolchildren from upper and middle class families are encouraging their parents to exercise their franchise, while rural health workers are organising rallies and signature campaigns to target the urban group.
Bokaro deputy commissioner Uma Shankar Singh said that schoolteachers and health workers would form human chains, starting from Tuesday, to educate voters to go to the booths and use their voting power.
“Government vehicles will also visit all blocks and urge people to vote,” Singh added.
So what prompted them to include schoolchildren in the campaign?
“Since students are the best medium who can influence their parents, we have decided to take their help in voting,” Singh said.
An extremely low turn out of voters had been witnessed in the last state as well as parliamentary elections in those zones where steel plant officers and upper strata of the society reside. These included 140 booths of Bokaro, Chandankyari and Bermo Assembly constituencies.
In the steel city, the booths at sectors I, II, IV and V had registered less than 10 per cent votes, much to the surprise of Election Commission officials.
The administration is aiming for an increase of 50 per cent votes this time through their massive and well-structured campaign.