The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 19 , 2014
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Docs prescribe voting rights

- Govt focuses on election awareness drive

This year, doctors have been asked to take part in the election awareness campaign, considering their reach and respect among people.

Sources in the district civil surgeon’s office said the doctors associated with primary health centres, sub-centres, referral hospitals and additional primary health centres have been asked to convince their patients in exercising their electoral rights. The importance of voting and the date of election would be mentioned in the doctor’s prescription.

K.K. Mishra, the district civil surgeon, said on Tuesday: “This is a joint initiative of the election commission and the health department. We have started issuing letters to the doctors regarding this matter. A review meet would be held on Wednesday.”

Mishra said the doctors have been asked to use a stamp on their prescription in which there would be a slogan related to the election awareness campaign along with the date of the election. “This move would ensure participation of more voters,” he said.

However, the doctors have been asked not to promote any particular political party or candidate.

The district civil surgeon’s office would also provide banners related to the election awareness campaign to the state-run health institutions. “We have already distributed the banners in some of the health institutions,” Mishra said.

The doctors of the medical college hospitals would also take part in the election awareness campaign. Amar Kant Jha Amar, principal, Patna Medical College, said: “We have asked the doctors of Patna Medical College and Hospital to mention the importance of voting rights in their prescriptions. However, we won’t provide any stamp. The state chapter of Indian Medical association and Bihar Health Services Association have also asked the doctors to make patients aware of the electoral rights.”

Role of students

In Lakhisarai, the students of government schools have been assigned the task of motivating their parents to vote in the Lok Sabha elections.

The district administration has given affidavits to more than 2 lakh school students to get them signed by their parents. The students have also been asked to monitor that their parents vote on April 17. The district administration is creating an awareness drive among the voters in the constituency.