Electoral Literacy Clubs
Taking forward its continuous efforts of building an active democratic citizenry in the country, the Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation division of ECI has undertaken a new initiative by the name of Electoral Literacy Clubs for developing a culture of avid electoral engagement and making informed and ethical ballot decisions among citizens of the country.
In U.T., Chandigarh The Electoral Literacy Clubs or ELCs program was officially launched on National Voters' Day 2018 by the Chief Electoral Officer Sh. Ajoy Kumar Sinha, IAS.
ELCs are informal learning groups which being set up across the country as direct interventions of ECI for promoting electoral literacy among Indian citizens of all ages by engaging them in interesting and experiential hands-on learning activities in their local languages in a strictly apolitical, non-partisan and neutral manner.
Three different kinds of interventions have been designed under the ELCs program. First is ELC Future Voters which are being set up in Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools all across India to target future voters in the age-group of 14 to 17 years who are studying in Classes IX to XII. These ELCs will have all of the students from Classes IX, X, XI and XII as its members.
Electoral Literacy Clubs are also being set up in colleges of Chandigarh as ELC New Voters for targeting the age-group of 18 to 21 years old who are pursuing their graduation. The overarching goal of ELCs program is to make the future and new voters of the country fully confident of how, when, where, what and why of democratic elections. They should develop an understanding of the value of their vote, significance of sanctity and secrecy of their vote, and a conviction of making mature, competent and ethical ballot decisions. They should become interested and excited for exercising their very first ballot decision in an ethical and informed fashion as soon as they become 18 years old. In quantifiable terms, the outcome of ELCs would mean increased electoral registration and enhanced voter turnout.
And for reaching out to the population left outside of the formal education structures, ELCs shall be set up at every Polling Station by the name of ChunavPathshala. ChunavPathshala will have members from the village or community to which the polling station belongs. While there will be significant focus on school dropouts, the ChunavPathshala will also aim to be representative of the entire village's demographic composition.