Excited about finally being able to cast her franchise, and in turn, be part of the process of choosing the country’s next Prime Minister, 19-year-old Meghna said she voted in favour of development and better employment opportunities in the future.
Not being able to contain her enthusiasm, she said she landed up at her polling booth, a government school in Sohna, at 7am. “I wanted to be the first person to vote. I was so excited,” she said, grinning from ear to ear. She, however, had to end up waiting for more than three hours as the EVM at the polling booth had malfunctioned. “The wait didn’t curb my enthusiasm, I was just too excited,” she said.
Better education facilities, more job opportunities and women safety topped the wish list of the first-time voters — most born at the beginning of the 21st century — who voted in the Lok Sabha elections Sunday.
Hoping to make the right decision as the policies would “affect her now that she is a grown-up”, Kajal Harsana, 19, said she spent a lot of time reading up on all the candidates in her constituency and that she has done a thorough research of all the problems plaguing the area she lives in.
“I have been following the news and saw many candidates bringing up incidents that took place long before I was even born. Having not experienced those issues first-hand, I chose to vote on the basis of issues such as employment and education, all of which would affect me in the future,” she said.
Khalida, a 24-year-old resident of Ghasera village in Nuh, who is pursuing a post-graduation course through distance learning due to the lack of a university in the area she resides in, said she has grown up seeing her family being affected by the government’s decisions. “Now that time has come for me to vote, I wanted my vote to matter. I wanted to vote to bring about change in terms of education here,” she said.
Her friend, Tabassum, 24, agreed. She said, “If people think the young generation is unaware of history, they are mistaken. We read frequently so it is not easy for anybody to influence us. We are hopeful that situation will change in our region through our votes.”
Twins Abhishek and Anushka Das, who live in South City 2 and recently turned 18, said they have been impatient to vote since their childhood as they watched their parents vote diligently in every election. “I feel more responsible now that I have voted,” said Abhishek. Anushka echoed his sentiments, adding she had education and safety of women in mind when she cast her vote.
Priyanka Singh, another 18-year-old voter, said she didn’t know – or care – much about the past performance of political parties. “I am not very politically inclined. But I do know what I want in the future — good employment opportunities,” she said, adding she wants to be a doctor.