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Youth awareness strengthens democracy: Gov

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By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 9 Feb: At the initiative of Governor Lt General Gurmit Singh (Retd), an Inter-University Speech Competition on the theme, “Nation, Voting and Democracy”, was organised at Raj Bhawan, here, on Wednesday.
Students of state universities expressed their views on voting and democracy before Governor Singh. Encouraging the students, the Governor said that democracy is strengthened by awareness among youth. In a democracy, it is the voter who decides the fate of the government. Voting is both a duty and a right.
The Governor added that, as citizens, all Indians should have knowledge about their duties towards the country. All Indians should read, understand and practice the Fundamental Duties with full devotion. He suggested celebrating one day in a year as Fundamental Duties Day.
The Governor said, “I would like to congratulate 1.58 lakh young voters in the age group of 18 to 19 years who are going to vote for the first time in this election. Voters should vote in the interest of the state without being influenced by pressure of caste, religion, money or force and strengthen democracy.
He reminded that the voting percentage in the last assembly election in the state stood at 66 per cent. To increase the voting percentage, all the more than 81 lakh voters of the state have to be determined to vote. The effort should be to target 100% voting, thereby setting an example for other states.
Describing every vote as invaluable, he said, this time, the 68,478 physically disabled people would also use their vote to strengthen democracy. Facilities for all types for voters have been provided by the Election Commission. Arrangements for postal ballots have been made for elderly people above 80 years of age, patients of Covid, the physically disabled, etc. The voting process would take place in a total of 11,647 polling booths in the state. The great campaign of democracy would be successful with the active participation of about 40 lakh women voters of the state.
Governor Singh also appreciated the personnel engaged in election duty.
Akash Uniyal, MBBS student of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna University of Medical Education, who stood first in the speech competition, said that just as every organ, system and cell of the human body is important for life, every vote is priceless in a democracy. Tanisha Rawat, a student of Doon University, who came second, said that votes are the power of democracy. Conscious voters are the creators of the country’s destiny. Karanjit Singh, a student of Kumaon University, who came third, said that all voters must exercise their franchise. Pankaj Godiyal, a student of Uttarakhand Sanskrit University, who stood fourth, said that the Constitution of India gives this sacred responsibility of voting to every Indian without discrimination of caste, religion, language, region, wealth and force.
Governor Singh felicitated the winners of the competition. Present on the occasion were Dr Ranjit Kumar Sinha, Secretary to Governor, Amit Kumar Sirohi, Legal Adviser, Additional Secretary Swati S Bhadauria, ADC Rachita Juyal and Vice Chancellors of State Universities and students.