KARACHI - A project was launched on Tuesday which aimed at providing advance education to 250,000 voters in Sindh.

In collaboration with the UNDP, UNWomen, Australian Aid and Norwegian Embassy, the National Rural Development Programme launched the project at local hotel here.

It will impart the process of educating the voters especially the marginalised voters, including women, youths and minorities in five districts - Malir, Hyderabad, Badin, Khairpur Mirs and Dadu.

Under the title of ‘Advancing Voters Education in Sindh, the project shall address the capacity issues and knowledge gaps prevalent among its target section of the society. This project shall reach to around 250,000 women and marginalized minority communities in the selected five districts, namely: Malir, Hyderabad, Badin, Khairpur Mirs and Dadu.

Aminah Qadir, Gender Specialist, UNWomen while elaborating the objectives of the project said that UNWomen was engaged with Election Commission of Pakistan in election reform and voters’ education programme since 2007 because ECP wanted to enhance the voting turn out ratio to 63 percent from 44 percent of last 2008 elections.

She said that at least one million voters of marginalised communities would be provided advance education by encouraging them to use their voter of right, of which 250,000 voters are in five districts of the Sindh.

Aminah told the audience that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the results would be segregated by women and female with constituency wise, through which the hindrances in way of women’s voting right would also come on surface. “We are convinced that change is going to happen through a strengthened democratic initiative.”

Tariq Qadri, Provincial Election Commissioner highlighted the role of election commission, saying that the commission is going to conduct the general election with its authority and independence.

He further said that election commission was independent, which had ordered withdrawal of protocol being given to the former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah.

The Election Commissioner said that youth voters were very much enthusiastic to use their right of vote which was a positive sign for the betterment of the future of the country.

Anis Danish, Project Manager of NRDP there is a vast majority of marginalized and out-of the-process legitimate voters who should participate in general Elections-2013 by considering it a national responsibility. It shall also help for promoting the importance of democratic process and sensitize all the stakeholders to become the cause of democratic and social change in the country.

Rasool Wahidi explained the democratic process and working of election commission.

Meanwhile, the project monitoring and evaluation manager Anjali said, “The NRDP takes pride in having ushered the voter education in the era of emerging democratic Pakistan. It is our prime responsibility that laid the foundation of community level initiatives such as: women’s participation in the democratic process, inclusion of minority women in the process, sensitisation of young voters from universities and colleges, propagating democracy and its usefulness and highlighting the role of democratic Pakistan in the world community.”