Mangaluru, May 13, 2018: A big draw at the polls on May 12, the 20 pink polling booths in Dakshina Kannada attracted the attention of the voters. Decked in pink colour – with pink shawls and balloons – the pink booths attracted many voters. The polling staff wore pink attire. The chairs and tables covered in pink colour were another attraction.
The interior and exterior of buildings housing the pink booths have been painted pink. The welcome arch of the pink booths created awareness on the need for exercising franchise.
Women’s power: DK DC and District Election Officer Sasikanth Senthil said, “The pink booths aimed at highlighting empowerment of women.”
The pink polling booths were at Church Higher Primary School, Belthangady (East wing); Parokiyal Aided Higher Primary School, Bajpe (West wing building); DK ZP Government Higher Primary School, Katipalla, second block (East wing of South building); DK ZP Government Model Higher Primary School, Marakada (third room of new building); DK ZP Model Higher Primary School, Yedapadavu (South wing); DK ZP Higher School, Valachil (West wing); St Victoria Girls High School, Ladyhill (North wing); DK ZP Higher Primary School, Gandhinagara (Middle wing); St Aloysius Higher Primary School, Urwa (West portion of South building); Government Girls’ PU College, Balmatta (West wing); Aided Basel Mission Higher Primary School, Ullal; Mogaveera Aided Higher Primary School, Ullal; Bharath Aided High School, Ullal; St Sebastian English Medium School, Thokkottu; DK ZP Higher Primary School, Hoohakuvakallu, Balepuni; DK ZP Higher Primary School, Kerebail Sangabettu; DK ZP Higher Primary School, Kodimbadi; and DK ZP Model Higher Primary School, Guthigaru.
Ethnic booths: The five ethnic polling booths were decked to highlight the culture and traditions of tribals. The buntings of mango leaves adorned these polling booths.
As Koraga communities reside at Madhya in Surathkal, the building of the Madhya Ashrama School was decked with baskets and mats woven by them using a fibre made from plants. The ethnic booths had coconut fronds woven and neatly arranged inside. It had also exhibited the musical instrument of ‘dolu’ used by members of the Koraga community.
The Koraga colony in Kerekadu in Moodbidri constituency is a motivation to select the Kerekadu booth as ethnic. There are 35 Koraga houses with 85 voters in the colony. The polling booth was decked with paintings in the backdrop of the red wall. The welcome arch was decked with straw.
Badu Kerekadu, the Gurikar of the Koraga colony, said that as per the directions of the Social Welfare Department officials, he guided the artistes in decorating the polling booth on the lines of the tradition of the community.
The model polling booths welcomed their voters in red carpets. The voters were asked to sit in a lounge which was also decked up. It gave voters an altogether new experience. The children who accompanied their parents for polling booths were seen enjoying themselves in the play area, with play materials like small cars, jeeps, tricycle kept at the sitting lounge.
The voters in the model booth at Ashrama School in Kallangala in Kepu village of Vittal, were given water and jaggery.
Shades: Further, the district administration had made arrangement to provide shade in those polling booths by erecting pandals. Speaking to media, Sumathi from Kumapala said the erection of the pandals was really worth praising from the Election Commission. “It has helped the voters stand in a queue giving a sigh of relief from the scorching sun.”
Even the Central Paramilitary Force staff members lent a helping hand to senior citizens.
Udupi voters feel the pleasure too: In Udupi district too, 10 pink polling booths in the district were colourfully decorated on May 12, Saturday polling day.
The ambience was sparkling and jovial. Balloons, paintings, draperies and hangings gave a festive look.The election personnel and the voters were impressed with the approach.
The staffers on duty were dressed in pink and treated the voters with warm gesture. The polling desk and the box were also coloured with pink. The PRO at the pink polling booth at Christian High School in Udupi, Chaya Shetty, said it is a totally different experience to work in the environment decorated with pink colour. She said she is very much happy.
The polling booth had 21 first-time voters, aged between 18 and 20 years, who were given mementos for voting.
Initially, the control unit in the polling station had some technical errors. It was replaced with another unit soon. The older one had 33 votes stored and the problem started off when 13 votes were polled in the electronic voting machine. The polling station recorded 61.94% (604/975) of polling by 3.45 pm. Another polling booth in the venue recorded 57.40% (438/763) of voting at 4 pm.
Shruthi Kamath, a first-time voter in the polling booth, said that it is a new experience to vote in entirely pink environment. A second year engineering college student in Alvas College, Moodbidri, Shruthi said she is privileged to cast her vote as she experiences the greatness of being the citizen of the country. Added to that the new concept is something lively, she added.
The polling booths at Kannarpadi St Marys English Medium School in Udupi were painted pink with the slogans ‘We go pink; we go to the polls’. It was also accompanied with the play schools for the kids who accompanied their mothers who come to vote. Everywhere the pink colour spread a unique fragrance of novelty. There were two polling booths in the structure. One recorded 64.86 % and the other recorded 78.19% of the voting at 4 pm respectively.
Gift for voters: The first-time women voters in Kurkal pink booth were given attractive gifts. A total of 21 women voters, aged between 18 and 20 years, exercised their franchise in the booth.
Selfie zone: A selfie zone was also created in front of the polling booth at Kurkal, wherein women and first-time voters were seen clicking their photographs through their mobile phones.