ECI names Sheetal Devi National Icon in Voter Education

New Delhi, Mar 17: The Election Commission of India (ECI) partnered with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to host an Exhibition Cricket Match at Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi. The match, held on March 16, 2024, featured the Indian Deaf Cricket Association (IDCA) Team facing off against the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) team, aiming to promote voter education and inclusivity.

The highlight of the event was the announcement of Ms. Sheetal Devi, a distinguished Para-archer and Arjuna Awardee, as the National Icon in the Persons with Disabilities (PwD) category. This recognition underscores her remarkable achievements and contributions to sports and society.

The presence of Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu added prestige to the occasion, while former Indian Cricketer Nikhil Chopra graced the event as a special guest.

CEC Rajiv Kumar’s commitment to the Indian deaf Cricket team was evident, especially since he had pledged to explore the possibility of sponsoring a match between the IDCA team and mainstream cricket teams during the T20 Champions Trophy held in UAE in 2022.

With a crowd of 2500 spectators, including PwDs of various categories and young voters, the match showcased a spirited contest, culminating in the DDCA team’s victory by 69 runs. The event also featured a captivating performance by the ‘Shining Star Music Band,’ comprising visually impaired musicians.

Amidst the cricketing excitement, the Commission launched a dedicated Voter’s Guide for PwDs and Senior Citizen Electors, providing essential provisions and procedures for a seamless voting experience.

Sheetal Devi’s recognition as the National Icon, coupled with the efforts of ECI and BCCI, emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and voter participation, particularly among marginalized communities, in the democratic process.


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