The rich natural heritage of the geographically-diverse West Bengal has now become a motif for the Election Commission to attract voters to polling booths.
Each of the districts in the state have launched varied election mascots like tiger, red panda, rhinoceros, dolphin or even rivers like Teesta.
Sporting a typical white Bengali dhoti is the mannequin of a tiger which is being displayed in various places as mascot of the voter awareness campaign in South 24 Parganas adjoining Kolkata.
“We are lucky to have the national animal in our district which is part of the Sundarbans. We thought that tiger is the most appropriate creature which can represent our district and ask voters to exercise their right in a free and just manner in the upcoming Assembly elections,” district magistrate Dr P B Salim said.
Besides posters and effigies, even men dressed like a tiger can be seen in voter awareness campaigns.
The Election Commission had issued instructions to all districts asking them to chose mascots that would be used to spread awareness among voters, deputy Chief Electoral Officer Amitjyoti Bhattacharya said.
In the hills of Darjeeling, where the cute little creature can be spotted on tree branches, the administration has made Red Panda as their election mascot.
Similarly in Alipurduar district, which houses a number of forests in the Dooars region, rhino is the mascot. Jaldapara National Park which is home to the Asiatic one horned Rhinoceros is part of the district.
In Hooghly district, dolphin has been made the symbol of voter awareness.
The Gangetic river dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal and can be spotted in the river, also known as Hooghly.
Jalpaiguri district authorities have chosen Teesta river while South Dinajpur is content with Atri river.
Malda, on the other hand, is using its famous Fazli variety of mango to lure voters.
Going beyond natural heritage and biodiversity, few districts are also using cultural themes in the campaigns.
Howrah district for example has “Bantul the Great”, created by renowned comics-writer Narayan Debnath; Nadia has ‘Votegopal’, imaged out of Gopal Bhar, court jester of Raja Krishnachandra, the medieval king of Nadia.
North 24-Parganas is using the famous cartoon character of Micky Mouse, popular among adults and children alike. A couple of districts have also used their own creativity to sketch new characters.
Purulia has the fictitious “Voteswar” character while South Dinajpur has also created a fictitious character of ‘Votu da’.
EC officials said the campaigns have been designed keeping in mind the tastes and preferences of the voters of the district.
New way to attract voters
- Each of the districts in the state have launched varied election mascots like tiger, red panda, rhinoceros, dolphin or even rivers like Teesta
- Besides posters and effigies, even men dressed like a tiger can be seen in voter awareness campaigns
- Going beyond natural heritage and biodiversity, few districts are also using cultural themes in the campaigns
- North 24-Parganas is using the famous cartoon character of Micky Mouse, popular among adults and children alike