The year 2021 would mark 11th National Voters’ Day this January 25. Also known as Rashtriya Matdata Diwas, it is observed to commemorate the foundation day of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Article 324 of the Constitution states that there must be an Election Commission in India. The members of ECI are appointed by the President of India. Though the Election Commission had come into being way back in 1950 (this year it will step into its 71st year), it was only in 2011 that the proper celebration began to honour this event.
Objective of the National Voters’ Day
What prompted the government to set aside a day for this event is the growing concern related to the decline in the number of young voters. In order to motivate the youth to participate in the voting process, this awareness initiative was taken.
As a part of this initiative, voters were provided with badges that read "Proud to be a voter, ready to vote".
Taking into account the lack of interest in getting enrolled as voters, the need to encourage the youngsters was the impetus behind these steps.
It was decided that to ensure youth engagement in political activities in the country, the government would be identifying all eligible voters attaining 18 years of age in 8.5-10 lakh polling stations across the country by 1st January, every year. Following which the new voters would be handed over their electoral photo identity card on the designated day of 25th January.
To further strengthen the initiative of empowerment, instilling a sense of unity and pride among youth, the slogan "No voter to be left behind" was coined.
Government welcomes the citizens- young and old alike to exercise their right to vote, choose their representatives and be confident and proud of the inclusiveness that this democratic country stands for.
Schools, colleges are encouraged to observe this day with great enthusiasm by conducting quizzes, debates, mock polls; so that they do not ever remain in confusion or unaware of their rights.
In order to boost the initiative even more, the Indian government has gone to the extent of bestowing National Award for innovation, excellence in the election processes by the election machinery.
The day is celebrated with great gusto on the 25th January with a specific theme, every year. For instance, in 2020 it was "Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy". And this year the chosen theme is "Making our voters empowered, vigilant, safe and informed."