Mysore<: The 100-strong staff working in a small company in Mysore city has one of the most important roles to play in every election.
It's their job to make 'indelible ink,' that can't be erased from your finger to ensure you can't vote more than once.
The ink is produced and supplied not as a commercial product since Election Commission trusts Mysore Paints and Varnish for maintaining the product secrecy.
â€œOur product indelible ink is not available in the market or retail counters,â€ says MD, Mysore Paints and Varnish, KJ Suresh.
The then ruler of Mysore, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, established the MPVL in 1937. The idea to start the company dawned on Wodeyar to tap the abundant forest produce in the region like lac and paint pigments and since 1962 it is the only company authorised to supply voters' ink.
The company has licensed the chemical formula for the ink from the National Research Development Corporation, and pays an annual royalty of five per cent for the same. And it exports voters' ink to South Africa, Canada, China, which contributes a third of the turnover to its business.
For general elections 2009, the company will send out 20 lakh bottles. Nearly half of the order has already been dispatched.