How millennials got excited about voting in Meghalaya

Shillong: Rock bands, comic strips, graffiti. The election procedure in Meghalaya may just no longer get more vibrant. The award-winning, record-setting campaign by way of the state election department left no stone unturned in engaging the formative years and making sure their participation in the festival of democracy.
“We want the formative years to look that voting is cool. It is a way for them to have their voices heard. It is a way for them to assert their democratic right. And, after all, it's their responsibility as citizens,” said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) FR Kharkongor, the person behind it all.

‘Mission Unite’ -- where ‘unite’ is an acronym for ‘You and I Towards Enrolment’ -- was introduced in July closing 12 months, overlaying all 11 districts, going all out to attract young citizens. And it was a powerful luck. “A complete of 86,890 first-time citizens between the ages of 18 and 19 enrolled this time,” Kharkongor said.

This is the 12 months when the ones born in 2000 flip 18 and the campaign focussed on these millennials. “We came up with the concept of ‘millennium voting’, that is, the participation of those who had been born on January 1, 2000. We have known 133 such millennium citizens. Interestingly, the identify of the primary millennium voter we known is Millennium Grace,” the CEO added.

So how did the dept ship its message across to the formative years? “Meghalaya is a music-friendly state. We engaged the rock band Summersalt to encourage other folks to enrol and vote. The video they came up with went viral,” Kharkongor said. “The music, ‘Tarak Tak Tak’, was among Shillong’s most sensible 10 songs of the 12 months,” he added.

Summersalt vocalist Kit Shangpliang, who wrote the lyrics to the music, said, “The effort to engage the public and the formative years with enrolment and voting has been a labour of joy. People vote for money, they vote because applicants attend funerals or give away handouts. We’d like other folks to be more politically mindful to the extent that they know who they're voting for.”

Besides the rock band, the election department has additionally roped in Usha Uthup and Garo singer Browny Marak to appeal to the young crowds.

While it’s hard to search out political graffiti anywhere in the state, students from Shillong Public School collaborated with native artists to bring life to the town with vibrant graffiti to create voter awareness. The graffiti options the election department’s mascots Mark and Markor – the female and male avatars of the clouded leopard, Meghalaya’s state animal. The identify ‘Mark’ ties up with the election department’s slogan, ‘Let’s get inked,’ and ‘Markor’ means precious.

Extending the speculation to rural spaces, where striking up hoardings or having wall graffiti is tricky, the dept came up with ‘stone graffiti’. In Mawkrykat, for example, native artists had been engaged to color on rock formations. “Ka hok thep vote ka dei ia baroh (accessible and inclusive election),” a stone graffiti says.

Besides encouraging young citizens to vote, the dept has additionally performed a sustained campaign to create voter awareness. A unique approach during which it reached out to citizens was a comic booklet, illustrated by way of Kamtre Sumer, which follows 4 young Shillong citizens – Pynskem, John, Khraw and Daphisha – as they to find out more concerning the electoral procedure.

The campaign’s luck has made itself obtrusive no longer only in the building up in voter participation but in addition the accolades it has gained.

In 2009, the Election Commission began the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) initiative, below which innovative techniques are explored to encourage other folks to take part in the electoral procedure. Every 12 months, a National Award is passed out to the dept with probably the most ingenious campaign. This time, it was the Meghalaya election department that made the minimize.

Then, in October closing 12 months, the dept entered the Limca Book of Records with a 120 toes by way of 75 toes human brand formation by way of 2,870 students from 113 faculties and 3 schools. It was the maximum selection of enrolled young and future citizens coming in combination to form a human brand in one venue.

How millennials got excited about voting in Meghalaya How millennials got excited about voting in Meghalaya Reviewed by kailash soni on February 27, 2018 Rating: 5
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