The Chief Election Commissioner of India Navin Chawla was in the satellite city to deliver the Foundation Day Lecture in memory of K M Munshi on “Strengthening Indian Democracy”. During his interaction with the media, Navin CHawla appreciated the efforts of Bhartiya Vidhya Bhavan for holding mock elections in schools, reports Sana Warsia. The Bhartiya Vidhya Bhavan, Navi Mumbai unit along with NMMC had held mock elections in school for children during the last assembly elections. The initiative was taken to spread awareness amongst students the importance of voting and the need to vote. This initiative was lauded by the Chief Election Commissioner of India Navin Chawla who urged the Bhavan to spread the initiative further in other Bhavan schools. The schools participation was also recognized. Navin Chawla gave away prizes to all the participating schools, which registered a high turnout of student participation. During his interaction with the media, the obvious question was the low turn out of voters generally seen at the time of elections and if voting should be made compulsory. To this Navin Chawla said that the Election Commission only acted as umpires who set the field for elections, policy matters and decisions was that of the parliament. Also present on the day was State Chief Electoral Officer Debashish Chakraborty, Thane District Collector AL Jarhad, NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata and Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol. NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata said that the experiment of mock polling would definitely be beneficial for the students. Ravi Iyer ex-Chairman of NMMC Education Committee reiterated the same and said that it creates awareness amongst students about what is election. We also caught up with the man behind the initiative, the Chairman of Bhartiya Vidhya Bhavan S Swaminathan who said that the exercise has created a civic sense in students and teachers. Further he added that the results wont come overnight but within a period of time, a change will be seen in the turnout of voters during the time of elections. We also caught up with some of the students and teachers who spoke on their experiences during the mock elections. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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