Aiming at achieving an increased voter turnout in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the District Election Office (DEO) Bandipora organised a painting and essay competition under Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation program (SVEEP) to create awareness among the electorate about the importance of exercising franchise.District Election Officer Bandipora Shahbaaz Ahmad Mirza inaugurated the day-long event while Nodal Officer SVEEP Rafiq Ahmad Parray was also present on the occasion.Following the competition, an exhibition of the paintings was put up at the lawns of Mini-Secretariat Bandipora that attracted a large number of spectators who appreciated the students for their art.District Election Officer Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza said that the paintings had been made by schoolchildren to motivate people to casting their votes. The move was undertaken as part of the Election Commission's Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme.Apart from the painting competition, a mushaira was also conducted during the awareness program that was attended by students from various schools who presented poetry with regard to the importance of democracy and choosing right candidate to represent the people. Nighat Maqbool of High School Quil Muqam, Shaista Manzoor of High School Sumlar and Peerzada Shauib of NM Higher Secondary School Bandipora secured first three positions in the Mushaira.
Later an essay competition was also held in which students from various schools of the district participated. Sadia Javed of Higher Secondary School Qazipora was adjudged as winner of the Essay Competition while Mir Shariq of Boys High School Bagh and Umer Majeed High School Kehnusa secured 2nd position and Muntaha Iqbal Bhat secured the third price.In view of the World Theatre Day the Department of Education in collaboration with SVEEP also celebrated the day at Girls Higher Secondary School Bandipora wherein students presented skits of different topics.Deputy Commissioner gave away the cash prize to the position holders of different activities. They were given a cash prize of Rs 2000, Rs 1000 and Rs 500 respectively. A special cash prize of Rs 1000 was also given to a specially-abled student Simran Sarwar for participating in the painting competition.While appreciating the students for participating in different activities, Mirza also urged the students to be informed about the electoral process and urged them to inform their family members about it so that they get enrolled in the electoral list and participate in the elections.He said the aim of the program is to create awareness regarding the electoral process besides urging the younger generation to get enrolled in the voters list and motivating the first time voters to participate in the democratic process by casting their votes.During the event the officials also organized a training program about EVM-VVPAT machines wherein Master trainers imparted training to participants about handling of EVM-VVPAT machines.Officials urged students to get acquaintance with handling and operation among other aspects of the machines and also appealed for passing the message to the general public so as to ensure maximum voter turnout in the upcoming general elections.Concerned nodal officer threw light on the SVEEP programme during the awareness programme and urged to spread the word about toll-free helpline number and websitewww.nvsp.in where information can be asked for. Cultural Education Wing of CEO Office Bandipora assisted the SVEEP in conducting the day-long activities.