The constitution of India has given every Indian citizen the right to vote and thereby elect the representative of his choice. However over time, owing to various factors, the interest of the Indian electorate has been steadily declining in exercising their franchise. This is reflected in the consistent decrease in the percentage of voting in successive elections – be it general elections, assembly elections or elections to the local bodies.
In order to create awareness among the parishioners, an awareness programme was conducted at the Golden Jubilee Memorial Hall on the evening of 7th December 2022 – the first of its kind in the entire Mangalore South assembly constituency.
Mr. M. P. Noronha, Advocate, gave an elaborate account of current socio-political state in the country; how minorities and the marginalised are targeted; and the importance of voting during the elections. He also explained our responsibilities as citizens of the country.
Mr. Santhosh D’Costa informed the gathering of the Voter Helpline mobile app that can be used to verify if a person’s name is on the electoral role and how to enrol.
Mr. J. R. Lobo, ex-MLA, Mangalore South assembly constituency, briefly explained why we should protect the interests of our community and how we can effect a silent revolution through the ballot box.
The talks were followed by a question-and-answer session; the questions were answered by Mr. J. R. Lobo.
In his vote of thanks, Mr. Roshan Patrao thanked Rev. Fr William Menezes, Parish Priest and Rev. Fr Lawrence Cutinha, Assistant Parish Priest, for their support in organising this kind of community-oriented programmes; the heads of 21 wards for motivating and ensuring the attendance of the ward members; Catholic Sabha for giving logistic support in organising the programme; and the participants for their enthusiasm and active participation. Mr. Manohar Saldanha compèred the programme.
The programme concluded with sumptuous dinner.