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Students, firms to join campaign

The Dhanbad district administration has gone on an overdrive to improve the voting percentage in the approaching Lok Sabha polls, starting with a well-structured awareness campaign.

Stickers with slogans urging people to vote are being distributed among government officials for pasting on their vehicles as part of the drive under the Election Commission’s Systematic Voters Education Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme.

Rallies and camps are being organised by District Literacy Mission workers and anganwadi sevikas, while campaigns among students of private schools are being planned so that they go back home and ask parents and other family members to vote.

Soon, posters will be put up at public places and companies like BCCL, Maithon Power Limited, ECL, Tata Steel, Jharia divison, and Associated Cement Factory, Sindri, roped in to spread the message in their operational areas.

“The average voter turnout during the parliamentary polls in 2004 and 2005 in Dhanbad was 55.5 per cent. It dropped to 48.92 per cent in the 2009 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Our campaign is aimed at bettering this number,” said sub-divisional officer of the district Abhishek Srivastava, also the nodal officer of SVEEP in Dhanbad.

Srivastava further pointed out that Dhanbad had the highest urban population of 58.13 per cent in comparison to East Singhbhum (55.56 per cent) and Bokaro (47.70 per cent).

“We will target this urban group to try and improve the voting rate,” he added.

Dhanbad constituency will go to polls on April 24.