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How community radio stations are educating people on elections

By Anuj Cariappa
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New Delhi, Mar 31: In a "first of its kind initiative", the Election Commission reached out to over 150 community radio stations across the country to educate and inform the voters ahead of the general elections, it said. The event was organised by India International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Management (IIIDEM), in partnership with Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation (SMART), at IIIDEM, Dwarka, the EC said in a statement.

The main purpose of the workshop was to ensure the training and capacity building of the community radios for voter education and awareness, the EC said.

How community radio stations are educating people on elections

Umesh Sinha, senior deputy election commissioner, said community radio is one of the best mediums to reach out to the last voter of the country and the workshops were just the beginning of a long term and sustained engagement with them.

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Community radio can play a vital role in motivating and mobilising the voters, enlisting them into the electoral roll, mobilising them to go to the polling booth, educating them about their rights and responsibilities, and making them an informed and educated voter, he added.

The radio stations can strengthen democracy by developing content in local dialects and deepening the process of voter education and awareness up to the grass root levels.

He assured that community radio stations will become an integral part of the voter education programme.

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Sinha further emphasised that every voter is the first representative of the country and plays an important role in protecting democracy.

All voters across the country have the same power. Elections provide a level playing field as each vote has the same power, no matter who casts it-- the richest of the rich or the poorest of the poor, he said.

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