The Walkathon Man of Muzzafarpur
- Indian Masterminds Bureau
- Published on 2 Feb 2021, 5:27 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
IAS officer Dr Chandrashekhar has entered India Book of Records for a unique feat. In a short span of few hours, he made people aware- through a walkathon- about their right and need to vote in the last Bihar elections.
- Dr Chandrashekhar Singh (Right) being felicitated by state election officials
Remember the fearful situation in Bihar in 2020 when, in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, the state had to go through assembly elections? It was widely speculated that the voting percentage would go down sharply. But the then District Magistrate of Muzzafarpur, Dr Chandrashekhar Singh came up with a brilliant idea. He decided to conduct a walkathon to make people aware of their right and participate in the polling exercise.
In Western parlance, a walkathon is described a long-distance walk organised as a fund-raising event. The DM of Muzzafarpur did the same thing, but not to raise funds. He undertook the long walk to make people aware of their right to vote.
What Dr. Singh achieved during the exercise should have amazed him to- in hindsight. Both the India Book of Records and the State Election Commission has recognised his walkathon as the biggest event of its kind in the country.
During this amazing walkathon, Dr Singh made contact with over 5.35 lakh people!
PLEASED WITH THE PERFORMANCE
In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Dr Chandrashekhar Singh, currently posted as Collector and DM of Patna, said, “I am delighted to get the recognition. It would inspire me to do more innovative things for the state.’’
While felicitating Dr Chandrshekhar Singh, India Book of Records stated, “The record for the maximum number of people participating in a voter awareness walkathon was set by Dr Chandrashekhar Singh, District Magistrate, Muzaffarpur, Bihar under the District Administration. A total number of 5,35,588 people participated in the walkathon which was conducted across the district on October 30, 2020, between 8.00 am to 9.00 pm.”
While State Election Commissioner, Bihar also lauded Dr Singh and rewarded him with the State Award for Best Electoral Practices, 2020. It stated that the award was conferred on him for promoting awareness among voters in a “unique way’’.
BEHIND THE SCENE MOVES
The walkathon, it is believed, created massive awareness among the voters of Muzaffurpur and led to an increase in the polling percentage of the district.
On being asked about how did he ensured a large number of participants, Mr Singh replied that he conducted the walkathon in a decentralized way. “The walkathon,’’ he held, “was conducted under SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program). There are more than 4,000 wards in Muzzafarpur and in each ward, the walkathon was conducted under the guidance of Anganwadi, Asha, Jeevika and the ward members. In every ward, almost 120-150 people participated. These members ensured that all Covid-19 protocols such as sanitizer, masks and social distancing at each center were duly followed.’’
The people of Muzaffarpur would not forget in hurry the walkathon which Dr Singh conducted in the region, as also high levels of confidence which instilled in them.
END OF THE ARTICLE