Polling booth in Ladakh
Polling booth has been established at Warshi remotest village of Ladakh for a family of five votersDIPR Leh

To ensure 100 per cent participation of voters in the ongoing general elections, the Election Commission of India has set up a polling booth in one of the remotest villages of Ladakh for just five voters.

In this unprecedented move, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has set up a one-of-a-kind polling station exclusively for a single family in the remote village of Warshi. Nestled within the Nubra Sub-Division of Leh District, Union Territory of Ladakh, this unique initiative has garnered attention due to its geographical location—the northernmost polling outpost in the area.

The polling station is situated at latitude 35.06413258 and longitude 77.33742535.

The family consists of five members: two males and three females. One of them Rinchen Dolkar, a female, is a first-time voter among the five electorate.

"Our village is the last in Nubra Valley from the Siachen Glacier side. We are the only family living in this village and we have five voters", Dolkar said in a video message posted by the Chief Electoral Officer of Ladakh on the official social media platform.

"I will be voting first time in my life. I feel very proud and I am also very excited to exercise my right to the franchise," she said.

A dedicated farmer leads the family, with his elder wife supporting him in managing their home and family affairs.

This remarkable endeavor underscores the country's commitment to ensuring democratic participation even in the most challenging terrains. The small tented station in Warshi stands as a testament to inclusivity and accessibility in the electoral process.

Polling parties
Polling parties being dispatched to inaccessible polling stations in LadakhCEO Ladakh

Polling teams reached inaccessible polling stations by choppers

Meanwhile, as part of the plan for sending polling parties to the inaccessible polling stations, teams were dispatched through choppers to Dipiling and Zingchen polling stations of Ladakh. These two polling stations were devoid of road connectivity so choppers were utilized to take polling teams there.

Additionally, all vehicles involved in transportation are equipped with GPS facilities to enable real-time tracking.

Phunsok Ladakhi encourages voters to cast their votes on 20

In a significant effort to enhance voter awareness and mobilize participation for the upcoming elections for the Ladakh Constituency Lok Sabha, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the Union Territory of Ladakh, Yetindra M. Maralkar, visited Sakti Village in the Kharu Sub-Division of Leh.

The visit marks an essential component of the Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Ladakh initiative.

The event commenced with a welcome from the village Nambardar and Goba, who, along with the Lamas of Chemdey Monastery, students from the Government Council Model School, Sakti (Serthi), and residents, greeted CEO Yetinder Maralkar and officers with traditional khataqs.

Addressing the assembly, CEO Yetinder M. Maralkar highlighted the importance of active participation in the electoral process and urged all eligible voters to cast their ballots on 20th May 2024. Every vote counts in shaping the future of the region and nation. I encourage all citizens to exercise their democratic rights responsibly, he stated.

State SVEEP Ladakh Icon, Phunsok Ladakhi, further motivated the crowd by highlighting the significance of electoral participation through a locally inspired song dedicated to the General Election 2024. Female Icon Stanzin Idzes also spoke passionately and urged the voters and the youth to ensure a strong turnout on election day.

The SVEEP Ladakh initiative is dedicated to educating and encouraging voters across the Union Territory of Ladakh to engage actively in the democratic process. The visit of the Chief Electoral Officer to Sakti Village is part of a wider strategy to reach out to remote and rural communities, ensuring comprehensive voter awareness and participation.

The initiative is to enhance voter education and mobilization, ensuring that every eligible citizen in Ladakh exercises their right to vote. The involvement of respected community leaders is expected to significantly boost voter turnout and engagement. The initiative also aims to address voters' interests by making the electoral process more accessible and engaging for the residents of Ladakh.

Polling in Ladakh

Ladakh is going for polling on May 20

A high voltage campaign is going on for the lone Lok Sabha seat of Ladakh where elections will be held on May 20. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections Ladakh was part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Spanning over Leh and Kargil districts, the LadakhLokSabha seat boasts the distinction of being India's largest constituency in terms of area. Strategically positioned along the borders with Pakistan and China, it holds immense geopolitical significance.

This time Ladakh Lok Sabha is witnessing a triangular contest between Tashi Gyalson of BJP, Tsering Namgyal of Congress, and an independent candidate Haji Hanifa Jan.

With a total of 182,571 electors, including 91,703 male and 90,867 female voters, the Ladakh administration has erected 577 polling stations to facilitate the electoral process. Special provisions, such as pick-and-drop services and wheelchair assistance, are being extended to Divyang and elderly electors through the Saksham App.

Furthermore, initiatives like voting from home aim to enhance accessibility for all eligible voters. Notably, the Ladakh constituency witnessed a commendable voter turnout of 76.4% in the 2019 elections, underscoring the region's commitment to democratic participation.