Student volunteers joined the Suchitwa Mission’s work in following a green protocol for Kerala Assembly election.

Three baskets hang for three different sorts of waste at a polling booth with a notice paper in betweenBaskets for segregated waste in a green booth
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Tuesday, April 06, 2021 - 19:07

Weeks before election day in Kerala, as candidates got announced by the various political fronts and campaigning was about to begin, work began for the offices of Suchitwa Mission, to conduct what they call a Green Assembly Election. They divided the work to two phases – waste management during campaigns and during election day.

“Flex boards were banned ahead of the campaigns. Candidates and political parties were asked to use recyclable or reusable equivalents like polythene or cloth for banners, hoardings and the like,” says Ameersha, programme officer, Suchitwa Mission.


Organic materials used in green booths for signboards, drinking water

The Election Commission had discussions with the Suchitwa Mission and directions were given to District Collectors across the state. An orientation class was provided for political party representatives and candidates. Trained MCC (Model Code of Conduct) squads were deployed to check that the polling guidelines including green protocol were not violated.

“Plastic-free model booths were also set up in every district with the help of local body representatives. Organic materials were used here for signboards, drinking water and other objects. In these booths, arrangements were made for proper segregation of waste. On election day, there would be COVID-19 waste as well as voting waste. With the cooperation of the Health Department, arrangements were made for collecting COVID-19 waste such as PPE kits, gloves and masks. Election-related waste such as voter’s slips and other materials from booths will be collected by the Haritha Karma Sena (green army of the Kudumbashree, state-run network of women workers). Food for polling officials will be given by Kudumbashree in reusable plates, avoiding disposable ones,” says Ameer.


Haritha Karma Sena volunteers with plantain-leaf waste-bins

After election, boards and other materials used by respective political parties should be handed over to the Haritha Karma Sena who will then send it to Clean Kerala Company for recycling (formed under Local Self Government Department for hygiene management).   


Student volunteers help with the green booths

Student volunteers from various teams – NSS (National Service Scheme), MCC, Student Police Cadets and Electoral Literacy Club – have been trained in spreading the idea of green protocol on social media and also for setting up model booths. Even waste bins in these model booths were made of natural materials like plantain leaves instead of plastic, Ameer adds.  

Also read: Polling day in Kerala mostly peaceful barring stray incidents of violence

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