Around 71,500 saplings were distributed on Monday.

In Wayanad district first-time voters walked away with a saplingPTI
news Kerala Polls 2016 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 13:52

Be it in Ernakulam where letters were sent to first-time voters, or in Kannur, where a 100-year-old first time voter was declared as the poll mascot, district collectors across the state came up with innovative methods to encourage people to vote for the assembly election held on Monday.

In Wayanad district of Kerala, it was not the customary selfies of first-time voters, but the sight of voters walking out of the poll booth with a sapling in hand that was not only spurring people to vote but was also aimed at making people environment conscious.

As part of the district administration’s green initiative “Orma Maram”, all first-time voters including differently-abled and those above 75 years were gifted saplings after casting their votes in the eco-sensitive district of Wayanad. Around 71,500 saplings were distributed on Monday.

Voting officials said that as a result of this initiative, voter turnout in the district had witnessed a major increase as these saplings proved to be an added incentive for people to vote.

According to reports, the district has been classified as highly vulnerable in the state action plan on climate change and in view of this, the district administration decided on this initiative by blending democracy and conservation.

With the slogan of ‘Vote for democracy, Vote for environment’, a certificate of commendation was given to voters who participated in this campaign.

District collector Keshvendra Kumar was quoted as saying, “We are happy that the Orma Maram programme has been able to galvanize people on the issue of protecting the ecology here. We hope that first-time voters would nurture plants in memory of their first vote.”


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