To encourage women voters, the Election Commission has come up with a unique 'goodwill gesture' - to give sanitary pads to every woman coming to vote at the ‘Sakhi matdan kendras’ in suburban Mumbai on April 29.
This was announced by an Election commission official saying that the gesture is aimed at encouraging more women to come out and exercise their franchise.
‘Sakhi matdan kendras’ are polling booths entirely managed by women. These have been set up in all 26 Assembly segments of suburban Mumbai, consisting of three administrative subdivisions – Kurla, Andheri, and Borivali.
“Each woman voter at these polling booths will be given a pack of sanitary napkins as a goodwill gesture," said the official in a press conference.
Speaking about the other arrangements at these 'Sakhi matdan kendras' , the official said:
"Apart from sanitary napkins, cold drinks would also be made available for both men and women who exercise their franchise at these booths. Rangoli and other art forms would be used to make these booths more attractive."
As per the EC’s directive, this time around 300 polling booths entirely managed by women was set up across all 288 Assembly segments in the state for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, additional chief electoral officer Dilip Shinde said.
This initiative is aimed at gender equality and to involve women’s participation in the electoral process.
"Self-Help Groups and workers of the ‘anganwadis’ (government-run women and child care centres) were making efforts to encourage women to vote in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls," said another official.
Mumbai will vote in a single phase on April 29. The Indian general election is currently being held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May, and on the same day, the results will be declared.
(With PTI Inputs)