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Pink is the Colour for Women Empowerment in Puducherry

Showcasing the many capabilities of women, the District Election Officer and Collector of Karaikal district, Arjun Sharma, initiated five ‘Pink Polling Booths’ in the district, a move which has been appreciated widely.
Indian Masterminds Stories

The 15th legislative assembly elections in 30 constituencies of Puducherry commenced on April 6, 2021. During the same time, a noble initiative was taken by the District Election Officer and Collector of Karaikal district, Arjun Sharma, one which focussed on women empowerment by giving them equal opportunities during the elections.

‘Pink Polling Booth’ was set up in the district at five locations, which was completely operated by an all-women team comprising the Presiding and Polling officers. In an exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds, IAS officer Mr. Arjun Sharma spoke about the objective of launching the initiative and how it would help in the overall development of women in the district.

THE IDEA

Mr. Sharma said “The overall responsibility of conducting the elections in any district resides with the District Election Officer. The major task is to conduct the elections smoothly, ensure all the facilities to the people, as well as proper functioning of the machines.There are several things like this which we have to supervise while conducting elections in the district.”

“Setting up of ‘pink polling booths’ during election comes under the guidelines of the Election Commission of India. Our idea behind setting up five such booth in our district was nothing but to give a renewed push and focus, so that we can show that the idea of women empowerment can be showcased through the elections,” he added.

Among the 234 polling booths in the district, five pink polling booths were set up in Varichikudy, Selloor, and Neracy and two in Karaikal town.

THE OPERATION

While speaking about the role of women in these polling booths, Mr. Sharma said “All these polling booths were fully managed by an all-women team. The presiding and polling officers were given general training of how to conduct the voting procedure smoothly.”

The polling booths were decorated with pink balloons, and tables were also covered with pink draperies. The women officers allotted at the polling booths were also dressed in pink costumes, to add to the overall mood.

Pink Polling Booths

“Polling at all the stations was conducted in a smooth manner and I myself visited the pink polling station during the voting day. I found the lady officers posted there were quite confident and were running the process smoothly,” he added.

Mr. Arjun Sharma inspecting the booth on voting day

It was also a successful initiative of the administration in allotting these women officers in five polling booths as they delivered good results. These particular stations, managed by an all-women team, recorded 80 percent polling.

THE RESPONSE

The response to the women-centric initiative was quite encouraging, as the people residing in the Karaikal district appreciated the step taken by the administration to promote women in all the sectors. Mr. Sharma said, “This initiative will go a long way as it will boost the confidence in women who strive to achieve their goals in whatever field they are in. It will also showcase that the women are equally capable of managing things not only in their private life but in their professional lives as well.”

A small initiative, but perhaps waiting to be replicated in other regions of India as well.


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