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Women-managed polling booths to make Kolkata North stand out in last phase

Women-managed polling booths to make Kolkata North stand out in last phase

Kolkata: Women polling personnel manning booths will be a striking feature of Kolkata North parliamentary constituency (PC) that goes to polls on May 19.

The Commission has earmarked 153 polling stations located in 33 polling premises spread across the seven Assembly constituencies under North Kolkata PC, where the entire voting process will be conducted by women.

Apart from Kolkata North, eight other Lok Sabha constituencies in the state will be going to polls on May 19, the last phase of the elections.

"We have witnessed model booths manned by women in earlier phases of the elections. But this is the first time when 9 percent of the total booths in a parliamentary constituency are being managed by women. We have 1,862 polling stations in Kolkata North PC, among which 153 will have only women polling personnel," said Dibyendu Sarkar, District Election Officer (DEO), Kolkata North. According to Sarkar, all the polling premise locations will have one micro observer, who will also be a woman. There will be a team of four women in each of the 153 polling stations, taking the total count to 612. In addition to this, there will be one micro observer each in all the 33 polling premises that contain these 153 booths. "So the total number of women voting personnel who will be on duty at booths on the day of polls is 645," added Sarkar. The Commission has already provided training to 800 women, among whom 645 will be on-duty and the others will be kept in reserve in case of any emergency.

Sources in the Commission said that there were a handful of women who have been deployed for election day duty in the earlier phases of elections in the state.

Ishita Goswami, an officer of WBCS cadre in the state Cooperation department, who will be on duty on the day of polls, is eagerly looking forward to the experience. "The job will be challenging as I will be working with EVMs and VVPAT for the first time. But I love new assignments and apart from receiving training, I am also reading a number of books on EVMs," said Goswami, who had participated as a liaison officer in the 2009 municipal polls in the state.

It may be mentioned that in a bid to enthuse the voters in North Kolkata to exercise their voting rights, the DEO North Kolkata office had made a documentary titled 'Ek Dojon Goppo'- a collection of 12 short stories depicting the special flavour of North Kolkata like its adda culture, the College Street Boipara, the food of Dacres Lane and the iconic structures.

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