SHILLONG, June 12 (Newmai): With the aim of educating the youth about election procedures and creating awareness about importance of voting, the Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs) programme was officially launched by the Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer, FR Kharkongor with the unveiling of the ELCs logo, at the Headquarters of Bharat Scouts and Guides, Pine Mount Ridge on Tuesday.
ELCs are informal learning groups which are being set up across the country as direct interventions of ECI for promoting electoral literacy among Indian citizens of all ages by engaging them in interesting and experiential hands-on learning activities in their local languages in a strictly apolitical, non-partisan and neutral manner. The goal of the ELCs is to make the future and new voters of the country fully confident of how, when, where, what and why of democratic elections.
To achieve this goal, ELCs are being set up in Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools targeting ‘future voters’ falling in the age group of 14 to 17 years and also in colleges targeting ‘new voters’ falling in the age-group of 18 to 21 years. ELCs are also being set up at the community level with the aim of covering eligible voters not covered under the formal educational system.
Speaking on the occasion, Kharkongor said that with the purpose of strengthening the roots of democracy, it is crucial that the youth have the right reasons to vote, believe that their votes matter and more importantly have faith in the ballot. Adding that out of an electorate of 18, 42,000, there are over 2 lakhs eligible voters in the state who are yet to be enrolled, he said efforts of the Election Department are on to bridge such gaps through programmes and interventions like ELCs.