The Election Commission of India (ECI) launched the Voter Awareness Forum (VAF) in New Delhi on Wednesday. Similar VAFs were also launched by the Chief Electoral Officers in the State capitals and by District Election Officers in the Districts simultaneously.
These are informal forums for generating awareness around electoral process through discussions, quizzes, competitions, and other engaging activities. All employees of the organization are expected to become members of the VAF.
Addressing the Nodal Officers from 44 Ministries, Government of India, and representatives from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi, the Commission exhorted them to immediately set up VAFs and facilitate enrollment of all employees and officials on the electoral roll.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the founding fathers of the Constitution had an instinctive faith in the citizenry of our country and therefore gifted Universal Adult Franchise to the Indian populace while other democracies took years before extending this right to all its citizens.
“It is therefore our collective responsibility to value and preserve this right, and in this endeavor Voter Awareness Forums have a crucial role to play,” Arora said.
He asked the Nodal Officers to commit themselves to the aims of the VAFs which is to promote informed and ethical electoral participation, beginning from the first step of voter registration.
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VAF is part of the Electoral Literacy Club (ELC) program of ECI. Launched on the 8th National Voters Day, 25th January 2018, the ELC program envisages setting up of Electoral Literacy Club in every educational institution and Chunav Pathshala at every booth to cover those outside the formal education system.
Around 2.11 lakh ELCs have already been established across the country in the first year of the launch of the program.
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