As we, India, the World’s largest democracy celebrated her 70th year of Independence, the students of Labour India Public School went marching to the polling booth. First time ever in Indian History, Election Commission of India was conducting the School Parliament elections directly through its State Wing at Labour India Gurukulam Public School, the first event of its kind in any of the democratic countries across the World.
Students from Nursery to Senior School at this residential international school rehearsed their future democratic right through this pioneering attempt. The indelible ink of democracy smeared on their left index finger on the 23rd of August, 2016 would certainly be their first memory of a democratic process.
The freedom earned by the sacrifices of the previous generations will be sufficiently valued only when the present generation imbibes the true spirit of the democracy. This realisation has led the Election Commission to take the lead in familiarising electoral process among student community and Labour India Public School was indeed blessed to be the host of such a path-breaking endeavour. Returning officer, presiding officers and polling officers were selected from among the faculty. Election was held for the posts of School President, Head Boy, Head Girl and Sports Captain. There were over 20 contestants for the various posts.
Like other elections in a democracy, this too had its share of festivity, seriousness and celebrations. Polling Officials arrived at their respective polling booths on Tuesday at 8.00 am. The school ID cards replaced the electoral voter ID cards. Arrangements for voting and a mock poll were held prior to the real voting which commenced at 9.00 am. Polling was over by 1.30 pm and those who found themselves in the queue within that time will be given slips by the presiding officers and were allowed to cast their votes. Results were announced by 2.30 pm by the State Election Commission officials.
The Office of the State Election Commission headed by Justice Bhaskaran issued the orders to this effect (No.3626/B/2016) to the District Collector of Kottayam and to the Election Officials of the district. Accordingly trainers including the Deputy Collector were assigned to the school by order (No. L:3-7949/16).
Three booths were set up in the school. Each booth had 4 Electronic Voting Machines where the voters cast their franchise by pressing the button against their respective candidates. Votes were recorded after the red light glows with a beep. The symbols of candidates have been approved by the election commission which are the official election symbols approved by Election Commission itself.
Observers from the Election Commission were present on the election day to assess the arrangements and proceedings and submit the report to Chief Election Commissioner of India.