Today: Jun 19, 2024

Pink Polling Station in Baramulla: A beacon of women empowerment and center of attraction

2 mins read

By: Reyaz Rashid/Jameela Akhter

Baramulla, May 20: In a pioneering move towards inclusivity and women empowerment, a pink polling station in the Azadgunj area of the old town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district remained the centre attraction and attention for the unique polling station was draped in hues of pink.

This distinctive polling station, aptly named the Pink Polling Station 26 Azadgunj-B, situated in Hanfiya High School, Baramulla, not only boasted a vibrant ambience but also symbolized a significant step towards gender equality in electoral processes.

Among the scores of women who exercised their right to vote at this remarkable station was 65-year-old Asiha, flanked by her granddaughter Asiha. This polling station, entirely manned by women, was bedecked in a beautiful tent tunnel adorned with pink balloons, buntings, and sunshades, creating an atmosphere of celebration and empowerment.

The significance of the Pink Polling Station was further underscored by the presence of top political contenders. Both National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and the son of jailed Engineer Rashid visited, acknowledging the importance of this inclusive initiative.

Shazia Begum, a resident of Baramulla, expressed her sentiments, stating, “It felt empowering to vote in a pink polling station manned by women which includes polling staff and security of polling station. It shows that our contributions are valued, and I felt more comfortable and respected.”

Rahila Akhter echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the impact of having women staff and security personnel. “Having women staff and security at the polling station made the voting process so much smoother and reassuring. I appreciate this initiative to create a supportive environment for women voters,” she remarked.

Nusrat Jan, another first-time voter, described her experience as unique, praising the professionalism and helpfulness of the female staff. “Voting at a pink polling station was a unique experience. The female staff was very helpful and professional. It made me proud to see women in these roles,” she shared.

Rubina Kouser, a first-time voter from Old Town emphasized the importance of the initiative in fostering women’s empowerment. “This initiative has made a significant difference. I felt safe and confident while casting my vote. It’s a step forward for women’s empowerment,” she affirmed.

Shaheena an athlete of old town Baramulla commended the Election Commission for its efforts in creating an inclusive space for women. “The presence of women at every level of the polling process was encouraging. It felt like the election commission truly considered our needs and created a space where we could vote freely,” she stated.

The Pink Polling Station in Baramulla stands as a testament to the progress towards gender equality in electoral practices. As women continue to assert their rights and voices, initiatives like these serve as beacons of hope, inspiring further strides towards inclusivity and empowerment in democratic processes.

There were 18 polling booths managed by women (also called pink polling stations), 17 polling booths manned by specially-abled persons and 18 by youths. Also, there were 21 green polling stations to spread messages about environmental concerns. The purpose behind these special polling stations is to spread awareness and empowerment among sections of society like women, specially-abled, first-time young voters to come forward and exercise their right to vote.


KI News

Kashmir Images is an English language daily newspaper published from Srinagar (J&K), India. The newspaper is one of the largest circulated English dailies of Kashmir and its hard copies reach every nook and corner of Kashmir Valley besides Jammu and Ladakh region.

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