Rayagada,11 April: Model Booth Number-129, Biranarayanpur in Rayagada Block. Well organised with a Dibyang help centre, a crèche to take care of lactating children while their mothers stand in a line specially meant for senior citizens and pregnant women. Two volunteers are ready with a wheel chair.
The school is neat and clean and shady inside. There is a tent outside the school to accommodate more and voters inside and outside. The voters, mostly tribals, are distributed "Chala" to get solace from the scorching heat.
Sri Dora, BLO of the said booth manages the whole show and performs his roles as prescribed. As per information, he left the booth yesterday late night and arrived today wee hours of early morning.
According to Sri Dora both the EVMs had defect though the mock poll prior to actual voting went on well. So it was almost two and half hours late than the scheduled time. In spite of this, till 3.15 PM, 310 women voters out of 359 did cast their vote in this booth making it to 86%. And still there were around fifteen women in the queue waiting to establish their franchise.
When this correspondent visited Booth no-212 at Rayagada autonomous college by 3.50 PM, it was found that only 297 women voted out of 566 making it to 52%.
"It is a myth that literate and educated people are much more aware of election as a democratic process and citizen's right. The percentage of voting by village women, mostly tribal, is much higher than the women in the town. When the tribal women take the cudgel, they behave serious. May be, this is understood by Sri Naveen Pattanaik in promulgating the strategic campaign through "Shakti-empowering women." Not only this unprivileged section of the society, tribal women from hinterland, has outshined their counterparts in the city of Rayagada, but also their men in the villages. This is certainly a good sign", said Sri Rabindra Patakhandal, Convenor of Zilla Suchana Adhikar Manch, who accompanied this correspondent to several booths in the interior pockets of Rayagada.
The district administration took all possible steps in providing facilities to voters and ensuring rule of law.