Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has shortlisted six celebrities of the state, including sprinter Dutee Chand, to spread awareness among voters and conduct sensitization drives for the ensuing Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
Para athlete Jayanti Behera, para shuttler Pramod Bhagat, singer Rituraj Mohanty and cine artistes Sivani Sangita and Swaraj will also be roped in and appointed as ‘State Icons’.
The names of the celebrities have been sent to the Election Commission of India for approval, CEO Surendra Kumar said.
Notably, a state-level Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) committee meeting was held here on Monday. The meeting selected these celebrities as the ‘State Icons’ and discussed on how they can be involved in voter awareness programmes to encourage young and new voters to cast their ballot in the elections.
To encourage the voters, the Election Commission has also formed SVEEP committees at 2,908 schools and 665 colleges across the state.
In different booths across Odisha, ‘Chunav Pathshalas’ have been set up to educate people about functioning of VVPATs and EVMs.
To create awareness, different television programmes and radio jingles in Desia, Sambalpuri and Santali languages will be aired. Folk dances will also be performed.