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International Women’s Day celebrated by empowering women with voter registrations & EPICs in Maharashtra

Over 60,000 women were enrolled and almost 33,000 Elector Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) were distributed on Women’s Day in Maharashtra. International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the world on 8 th March every year. This year Ashwani Kumar,Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra, planned to celebrate Women’s Day 2017 in line with National Voters’ Day (NVD).

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For a wider reach, other stakeholders who work for women’s welfare were involved to celebrate this day. Accordingly, several meetings were held with Women & Child Welfare Department, Public Health Department, Education Department, Rural Development Department, ASHA Workers, Aanganwadi Sevikas and NGOs/ CSOs.

The concept as also the motive was explained to them in these meetings. As these welfare departments celebrate Women’s Day through different programmes at their level separately,it was, therefore, decided not to have another separate function by Election Office but instead,to participate in these programmes organised by various women’s welfare departments and organizations.

Accordingly, the CEO office coordinated with all these departments to include Electoral Literacy in their celebration. At every such district and tehsil level programs, all facilities like providing 6, 7, 8, 8A forms and guidance from BLOs regarding enrolment were made available to encourage enrolment.Publicity material was prepared by CEO office and published/ broadcasted in all forms of media including the social media from the DEO, ERO and even at BLO level.

“Special efforts to reach out to women was taken up 10 days prior to 8 th March, so as to prepare EPICs to be distributed to female electors on Women’s day similar to NVD.Although this effort was happening for the first time in Maharashtra, the outcome was very encouraging with 60, 000 women enrolled and almost 33,000 EPICs being distributed on Women’s Day,” informed Shirish Mohod, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer and Maharashtra State SVEEP Nodal Officer.

Inspired by this success, it is now decided to celebrate Women’s Day,by empowering women through their voter registration and EPICs,every yearwith more enthusiasm.