Shillong, April 8: Who says elections arenít fun? And who says only those above 18 can have fun on voting day? The office of the East Khasi Hills district election officer certainly does not vouch for that.
As Meghalaya votes for their two representatives to the Lok Sabha tomorrow from 7am to 5pm, children, the voters of the future, will have their share of fun at Phan Nonglait Park (also known as Lady Hydari Park) here.
Amid the 12-hour shutdown called by the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) from 5am, the district election office will conduct recreational activities for children, even for those above 18 years, at the park.
These activities, which will commence from 11am, include a sit-and-draw competition, traditional mawpoin (building of a stone bridge) competition, and musical chairs.
The choice of the last game is quite apt for Meghalaya, where governments have changed hands in the past. It is hoped that on and after May 16, when the results are due, the game of musical chairs ó which our netas are so fond of playing even at a ripe old age in the making and unmaking of the new administration in New Delhi ó will be non-existent.
For the sit-and-draw competition, where participants will have to paint their vision of the Spirit of Elections, prizes will be awarded.
Not only that. Amateur and professional photographers can also make use of their cameras to capture the Spirit of Elections tomorrow.
Participants may take photographs of voters holding the electorís photo-identity cards (EPIC), the ink-marked finger after voting, pictures of polling stations, voters standing in queues, besides photographs of the youngest and the oldest voter in a polling station. Such photographs of minimum 2MB size can be uploaded on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/shillong.election) or can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Three winners from two categories (amateurs and professionals) will be awarded prizes.
The top 10 model polling stations will be awarded attractive cash prizes, after being judged by a team of officers based on the parameters laid down by the Election Commission. And yes, where there is fun there must be food stalls!