Guwahati, Apr 1: The number of women entering the election ring may still be few in Assam, but when it comes to putting the women officials in the forefront for executing their poll-related districts, Bongaigaon district in western part of the state is an exception in this General Elections.
The role of female officials have not been kept confined to the all-women polling stations in the district, but extended to make women personnel an integral part of the entire process, busting into previous male bastions.
Sharing details of this initiative, Bongaigaon deputy commission Adil Khan said, “We have a very strong team of women officers at the top level in the district. And they are more than willing to be part of the election process in all its forms.”
“We wanted to utilize their experience in public life and capitalize on their role as women officials to encourage the fair sex to come out in larger numbers to cast their votes,” Khan, who is also the district election officer for Bongaigaon, which falls under Barpeta Parliamentary constituency, he added.
He said women were engaged as ‘master trainers’ for the first time, wherein college teachers and officers of other departments were trained in the election process and they, in turn, trained other personnel in the district.
“ Women formed part of the teams that went to villages and other areas for imparting training on use of EVMs and VVPATs. This encouraged women in those areas to come forward for the training in bigger numbers,” the DC said.
Khan further said women sector officers have also been appointed for polling day on April 23.
“ The sector officers, like the master trainers, have been a male bastion so far. The sector officers have to be on the field, they are responsible for the entire big team under them, right from ensuring that the polling parties reach their polling stations, polling is conducted smoothly and the polling parties return safely,” he said.
He added, “We have appointed women sector officers this time and they are confident of discharging their duties without any hitches.”
Besides, the all-women polling stations, which were introduced in the state in last 2016 Assembly polls, would also be there, he added.
“Security aspect was the only issue which some of the women officials had raised and we have assured them of complete security,” Khan added.