|(From left) Eugene Niangti, Larsing Ming Sawyan, Junestar Kharbuli,
Lhai Sing Khongshei and Conrad Sangma
Shillong, Sept. 15: Who is your youth icon of the year? The Machine, the Entrepreneur, the Protector, the Social Worker or the Politico?
After weeks of voting by people, five known and unknown heroes have been shortlisted from among hundreds to be eventually nominated as Meghalaya’s Youth Icon of the Year.
Shillong-based finishing and communication skills aca-demy, Avenues, will be hosting the award function to crown the Youth Icon of the Year and honour other icons who have excelled in their fields.
After voting ended on September 12, Avenues today announced the top five personalities who received the maximum number of votes.
In no particular order, these five include Eugene Niangti, Larsing Ming Sawyan, Junestar Kharbuli, Lhai Sing Khongshei and Conrad Sangma. Niangti, promoter of Thrills Fun Park (Meghalaya’s first go-karting circuit), an innovator, motor sports enthusiast-turned-entrepreneur, has been named The Machine.
Sawyan, who is the general secretary of the Shillong Lajong Football Club and managing director of Centre Point Group of Enterprises, is nicknamed The Entrepreneur, while Kharbuli, president of the Bouncers’ Association of Meghalaya and East Khasi Hills Youth Congress chief, has earned The Protector tag.
An unfamiliar face, Khongshei, who hails from the Sohra region and has been an active advocate at the grassroots level, had been labelled as The Social Worker.
Sangma, the only politician who managed to capture the imagination of the public, much ahead of even his bęte-noire chief minister Mukul Sangma, is The Politico.
Those who wish to vote for any of the five can do so by sending a text message (type ICON <name of the icon> and send it to 9774212161). A maximum of five votes can be sent from one mobile number.
Voting will start from tomorrow and will end on October 1, and the grand finale will be held at the Aurobindo Hall near Raj Bhavan on October 2.
Apart from awarding the Meghalaya Youth Icon of the Year, who will be known as R.R. Thomas Youth Icon of the Year, 13 other icons who have been nominated as winners in different fields, will be awarded.
According to Avenues managing director Mark Laitflang, there were around 200 names, sent by the public from various parts of the state.
“After scrutiny of the votes, we found that the five persons garnered the maximum support. In totality, the number of votes received through text messages was around 20,000 and together, the top five persons received around 10,000 votes,” Laitflang said at a news conference.
He said the youth icon award would be named in honour of late R.R. Thomas, former principal of Cotton College, Guwahati.
Though Meghalaya is a matrilineal state, no woman featured in the top five.