Noida, Feb 10 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Budh Nagar district, which went to the polls on Thursday in the first phase of the state Assembly elections, sought to showcase vibrant colours of democracy by setting up model booths in a bid to make people feel the essence of elections and increased turnout.
Notably, in the last few elections, the voting percentage of the Gautam Budh Nagar district has been very less. Especially, in the Noida Assembly constituency, the voter turnout has not even been 50 per cent.
To increase the voter turnout, the administration has this year taken several concrete steps such as providing facilities of a waiting area, clean drinking water, toilets and voter assistance booths at the polling stations.
Further, over 250 ‘Model Polling Stations’ in the theme of ‘Votes and Memories’ made the polling day colourful for the residents of Gautam Budh Nagar district.
The Model Polling Booths were accurately decorated to exhibit the importance of voting and make the voters celebrate the festival of democracy. From the entrance till exit at the polling centre, the voters were surprised to see the arrangements made by the district administration. Every entrance of the model polling station was decorated with balloons in the colour of the Indian national flag.
The Brahmanand Public School in Sector 20 Noida, where polling booths number 277, 278, 280, 281, 282, 283 and 284 were set up, was a sight. The students along with teachers had made several posters depicting the importance of exercising the democratic right to vote. “Voting is not only our right, it is our power”, “Power is in your finger”, “Voting is a responsibility and not just a right” — were some of the captions that were given on the posters.
The administration had also made the provision of light music that just changed the mood of the people.
Similarly, the first time voters were given a “Thank You” card that was also made by the students and the teachers while the senior citizens were given a badge reading “I am a proud voter”.
The authorities had also put up a ‘Selfie Corner’ outside the polling station which remained the main attraction not only for the young generation but also for the elderly, who were also seen clicking their pictures.
Despite several efforts by the administration, the low voter turnout of 50.10 per cent still remained a cause of concern. However, compared to the last Assembly polls of 2017, the voting percentage increased slightly by nearly 2 per cent.
(Ujwal Jalali can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)