Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, on Friday launched the Universal Voter helpline ‘1950’ for Jammu and Kashmir voters.As per an official, the CS launched it during the 9th National Voters’ Day-2019 celebrations held here.The main state-level function was organized by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K at Convention Centre, Canal Road Jammu. Similar functions were also organized at district/tehsil/block headquarters and in educational institutions across the State to sensitize people about the importance of their vote, the official added. CS was chief guest at the main function at Jammu, while as the district level functions were held under the aegis of concerned Deputy Commissioners who happen to be the District Election Officers.Among those present at the State level function included, MLC Ramesh Arora, Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce and former CEO, Shaleen Kabra, CEO, Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, Secretary Education, Ajeet K Sahu, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, Commissioner/Secretary Culture, Mohammad Saleem Shishgar, Director Hospitality &Protocol, Hashmat Ali Khan, Director Information, Tariq Ahmed Zargar, several HoDs, other senior functionaries of Election Department, other departments, representatives of social organizations, prominent citizens, teachers and large number of students, the official added.The State-level function marked by launching the on-line Voters’ Universal Helpline “1950” by the Chief Secretary who made the first call on the helpline number to mark its operations in the State. The activities like screening of short films on the electoral process, message of Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sunil Arora and play by Natrang artists highlighting the importance of the Voters Day and rights of the voters were the main attractions in the function.While congratulating the new voters, the Chief Secretary said that Constitution of India has empowered everyone to vote and elect the leaders of their choice which is the vital tool for strengthening the democracy. He called upon the voters, especially the youth, students to make use of their right to franchise in every election in large numbers and also encourage their parents, friends and relatives to definitely vote in every election and become part of this important democratic exercise. He asked the students and youth who have just become eligible for vote to enroll themselves and feel proud to be voters.The Chief Secretary said that the Election Commission of India has initiated several reforms to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country through the process of Electronic Voting Machines after getting suggestions from various stakeholders from time to time. The Commission has launched several on-line services for to facilitate the voters and any kind of query can be sought on-line on newly established helpline 1950.Subrahmanyam said the objective of celebrating Voters Day is to create mass awareness among the voters about the importance of their vote and to ensure maximum participation of voters in the election process which is important for healthy democracy. He said the theme of this year’s Voters Day is “No Voter to be left behind’, which means every voter must understand his/her right and responsibility and they must come out in large numbers to cast their vote in the elections.CEO, Shailendra Kumar while highlighting the significance of the occasion said that the National Voter’s Day is being celebrated across the country on 25th January every year to mark the foundation of Election Commission of India on this day in 1950.“The main objective is to encourage and facilitate the enrollment of new voters and ensuring maximum participation of voters in the electoral process and to apprise the people about the new initiatives taken by the Election Commission to facilitate the voters, to create greater awareness among the voters about the new initiatives.” He said the office of the CEO undertakes a State-wide awareness campaign to educate the masses about the enrollment, updation of Special Summary Revisions every year which is being updated by Ist of January and every effort is being made to enroll all new eligible voters, delete dead voters and correct the particulars of the voters after a systematic process at the booth level. “Due publicity is being done through the medium of newspapers, radio, TV channels, hoardings so that people can avail hassle free facilities.”He said the process of enrollment is on-going through on-line portals www.nvsp.in. or by contacting the concerned BLO who has a permanent assignment to do this job. Enrolment has no last or cut-off date and can be done any day.“The newly established helpline 1950 which is dedicated to the foundation of Election Commission of India will facilitate every caller and is accessible from any location across the country by only prefixing the local STD Code if they are dialing from outside and make direct call when they have to contact local authorities.”The Chief Secretary and CEO honored the officers and other functionaries including BLOs related to electoral process in various districts for their outstanding work during the year 2018. Prominent among those were Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, Khalid Jehangir, DC Samba, Sushma Chauhan, DIO, Samba, Sanjeev Kapoor.Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) were also distributed among the new voters, including physically challenged by the Chief Secretary and Chief Electoral Officer.Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar presented vote of thanks and conveyed gratitude to all participants, especially the Chief Secretary for gracing the occasion. He extended his special thanks to the department of school education for ensuring participation of large number of students who are becoming eligible voters, the official added.
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