Shillong, April 11 : A prize distribution ceremony was held on Wednesday for the competition winners of Electofest – The Democracy Quiz, conducted online by the Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya in collaboration with the Shillong Quizzing Society.As a part of the ceremony, Chief Electoral Officer Dr. B.D.R. Tiwari, IAS, distributed hampers to eight winners, of which three winners were first time voters.

“The huge participation of young voters in this quiz is very encouraging. We say it so often that the youth have the power to change the country and indeed it is true because as a part of the largest democracy in the world, the energy and dynamic ideas that the youth bring in is unmatched,” Tiwari said.

“Through the quiz, it is also my request to the voters of Meghalaya to go cast their vote on April 19. Every vote counts and makes a difference,” he added.Joint CEO Jonathan Shylla, MCS, was also present at the event and said that Meghalaya has seen a rise in the number of young voters who will go to polls this year and such events will further boost the turnout numbers.

Electofest was conceptualized as a part of a campaign for creating voter awareness and literacy as well as promoting the history, importance and developments of elections of India and in Meghalaya.The quiz, which is being conducted in an open-for-all format on Facebook and in Instagram on the social media handles of CEO Meghalaya and Shillong Quizzing Society, has so far engaged over 1,000 people across the State and will continue running till the run up to elections, which will be held in Meghalaya on April 19.

“We have designed the quiz to be interactive in nature so that it becomes the perfect way of engaging young and first-time voters, helping them be aware of the profound impact that elections have on their futures and the weight their vote truly carry,” said Arpit Nayak, co-founder of the Shillong Quizzing Society, who started the organization with his counterpart Anirban Paul in 2022.“We look forward to engaging with the youth of the state in more constructive ways in the near future,” he added.

Blaridashisha Lyngdoh and Abhishek Das, first time voters from Nongtrai (Mawsynram) and Shillong respectively, opined that the right to cast a vote is an important right for the youth due to its empowering nature and the impact it holds for determining the future of the country.

“We would like to personally appeal to all voters, especially the first-time voters and the young voters, to cast their votes on 19th April’24.”