Hailakandi(Assam), Mar 6 (PTI) The endangered sparrow has been selected as the mascot in the voter awareness programme by the Hailakandi district administration with the double aim to encourage people to cast their ballot in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Assam and also to conserve the bird.
Hailakandi district has three assembly constituencies – Algapur, Katlicherra and Hailakandi – under its jurisdiction for which elections will be held on April 1 in the second phase of the three phase polls in the state.
The sparrow has been selected as the mascot in the voter awareness programme as there is a need to conserve the tiny bird and also to inspire and motivate the voters as it generally makes the houses its habitat, Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer Megh Nidhi Dahal said.
The sparrow is not only small and beautiful but also agile, energetic and keeps on chirping all day. “Besides it was once abundant in the region but is now on the verge of extinction”, he said.
“The district administration, therefore, thought of making the energetic sparrow the mascot for the forthcoming assembly polls to motivate voters, especially the first time voters, women and those living in far flung and urban areas to come out in large numbers on the day of voting”, Dahal said.
Plans are on the anvil to make an animation on the sparrow as mascot under the SVEEP programme.
The sparrow mascot based voter awareness programmes would be promoted on social media in a big way, including a selfie corner with the mascot installed at the Deputy Commissioner’s office complex to woo young voters to exercise their franchise.
The administration has intensified SVEEP activities with focus on young and women voters and in those areas of the district where the percentage of voting was below 75 per cent so that the voter turnout this time around is more as compared to 79.87 per cent in 2016 Assembly election and 79.48 per cent in 2019 Parliamentary election
Senior officials of the administration have been engaged in SVEEP programmes in order to come up with innovative ideas to enhance voter participation in the electoral process, he added.