Bihar polls: Model polling booth in Saharsa raises awareness about COVID-19, voting through Madhubani paintings

ANI
·2-min read
Visual from the polling booth in Saharsa.
Visual from the polling booth in Saharsa.

By By Sahil Pandey

Saharsa (Bihar) [India], November 7 (ANI): A model polling booth in Saharsa district is using Madhubani paintings, famed in the Mithila region, to raise awareness about Covid-19 as well as to encourage people to vote in the third and final phase of the Bihar polls.

One of the paintings themed 'Behena' showcases a blind woman being guided by her friends towards the polling booth. Other elements in the painting include sanitizers, mask and inked finger, apparently creating awareness about COVID-19 and the importance of voting.

Comprising 22 of the state's 38 districts, the Mithila region, known propularly as Mithilanchal comprises the districts of Darbhanga, Madhubani, Supaul, Aararia, Purnea, Katihar and Samastipur.

The visual art form of Madhubani originated in the Mithila region and is characterised by its eye-catching geometrical patterns. Artisans use a variety of tools, including fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks and using natural dyes and pigments for paintings.

The model booth in Saharsa has stocked up all the amenities like portable drinking water, shed and waiting area for the voters and creche for kids.

COVID-19 guidelines are being followed and the voters are given sanitisers and gloves. For maintaining social distancing, the organisers have given markings which read 'do gaz ki Doori, mask hai zaroori' and thermal screening is also done.

Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation program (SVEEP) is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India, is also the main organiser of the model booth.

Saharsa District Magistrate Kaushal Kumar lauded the SVEEP team for doing the amazing work.

"There are seven booths here in which two are dedicated to women and one to physically disabled people. We are following all the COVID guidelines like thermal Scanning, giving sanitiser to voters and following social distancing. Voters are enthusiastic with the arrangements and coming to vote. We have Mithila culture and SVEEP team has done amazing work and I congratulate them," Kumar told ANI.

The pink-themed model booth has seven booths where one booth is dedicated to physically disabled voters. Two of them are maintained by women polling officials.

Escort guides are present in the booth to help physically-disabled voters coming to cast their vote. To encourage youth for voting, first-time voters are being provided caps and a badge.

Polling is underway on 78 seats in the third and final phase. About 2.34 crore voters will decide the fates of 1,204 candidates. (ANI)