February 21, 2017 5:42:42 am
With an aim to encourage women voters, city-based mehndi artist Dhanashri Hendre will honour every woman voter with a free-of-cost mehndi design. The move is a joint initiative of Hendre-run Mrignayani Mehndi Arts Initiative Trust Board (MMAITB) and Sainath Trust.
The idea struck Hendre on Monday, while reading a newspaper report on several people and organisations taking up measures to motivate voters.
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“As a resident, I felt that even I should do something in my capability. I feel that, on an average, when it comes to voting a lot of women avoid stepping out, thinking that they can utilise the same time in household work. Even the freebies offered are mostly picked up by males. So, I thought, since mehndi is something every woman loves, why not mark the occasion with a free mehndi session?” asked Hendre, who later contacted Sainath Trust seeking collaboration.
A team of around 10 mehndi artists, all part of MMAITB, will be stationed at two spots — Bajirao Road and Appa Balwant Chowk. They cover four polling booths — Saraswati Mandir Vidyalaya, Adarsh Vidyalaya, Nutan Marathi Primary and Secondary School and Gopal High School. “Every woman, who with a voting ink on her finger, will be given a free mehndi art. We are ready to attend to any number of women — 2,000, 5,000 or more,” she added.
The cost will be borne by Sainath Trust and MMAITB. According to Piyush Shah of Sainath Trust, during every election, though government officials and residents take various steps to motivate people, the total voting percentage fluctuates between 50 to 60 per cent.
“The number should increase. Every resident should exercise his/her right. If they are not happy with the candidates, they can choose NOTA. But vote one must. Since mehndi symbolises celebration, this is a way to mark democracy and citizen rights,” said Shah. Hendre holds a record in Limca Book of Records for applying mehendi on 408 hands within 32 hours.
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