Eri to millets, model polling stations become indelible

Tura, Feb 27: West Garo Hills has 11 model polling stations, each focusing on a particular theme.

The themes range from awareness on soil conservation, eri silk, nutritional values of millets, tourism to watershed conservation and awareness.


At the model booth at Matchakolgre LP School under South Tura, the theme was eri silk. Information about the silk, also called ryndia in Ri Bhoi, and the lifecycle of the silkworms are depicted at the booth.

Sanre G Momin, the zonal officer for Sericulture in Tura, said this is a good opportunity for the department to spread awareness on the variety of silk, also called ahimsa or peace silk, among all the voters.

“Eri is locally available. It is disease-resistant and eco-friendly. We have used the cocoons to make the flowers used for decoration,” said Momin.

At Bolchugre UP School under Gambegre constituency, the theme is millet as 2023 has been declared as the year of this nutritional crop.

Sean ST Sangma, a polling official said the purpose was to make voters aware of the importance of the crop.

Apart from model booths, each constituency has a women polling station.

First-time winner
Hiram Matgrik Maji Marak got the spotlight not only as a first-time voter but also as the second person to vote at Matchakolgre model booth. The 20-year-old student was accompanied by his mother, Dr Lydia M Marak, who was the third voter and also received a plaque of appreciation. The duo were standing in the queue since 3 am.

“We were the first to come but somehow one person went first, ” Hiram smiled.

Witjeng Ch Marak was the lucky first voter at the booth.

L. Ch Marak, the 85-year-old headman of Lower Sunny Hills, quipped that he again felt young after  he was mistakenly presented the plaque of appreciation for first-time voters.

Mystery of one
At Hawakhana Higher Secondary School in Modynagar, the polling booths have skewed number of voters. While 19-Modynagar polling booth (west room) has 1,137 female voters and one male voter, 18-Modynagar (east room) has 1054 male voters and one female.

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