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Education, employment top priorities of first-time voters in Hyderabad

INDEducation, employment top priorities of first-time voters in Hyderabad

Elections are an exciting time for the youth, particularly first-time voters, who look forward with much anticipation to casting their vote for the party of their choice.

The initial euphoria aside, the teenagers, and those in their early 20s, are keenly aware of the fact they are key stakeholders in the election process, as the policies and decisions taken by the new government will have a direct impact on their careers and lives for the next decade.

This year, around 9.30 lakh new voters in Telangana will be undergoing this important rite of passage.

Irrespective of the ideology they believe in, these youngsters want to make a difference through their first vote. “Every election, politicians promise jobs, but they hardly materialise. Once they win the election, those promises vanish.” says 19-year-old Amaresh who runs a ‘pani puri’ stall in West Marredpally of Hyderabad.

Amaresh, who is a Class X pass out, took over the stall from his older brother. “My brother, after completing his Intermediate, has struggled to find employment matching his qualifications. Eventually, a friend in Mumbai helped him secure a job in a construction company there. I don’t want to face the same challenges,” he remarks. Amaresh says that as a first-time voter, he will choose an individual based on their past record of fulfilling promises.

Many youngsters highlight the key issues influencing their voting decisions, such as education, employment, and accountability. Nitin, a first-year mass communication student, says: “I’m interested in examining the data regarding the number of questions the current elected MP has raised in Parliament. Deciding on whether to reelect the incumbent or opt for a change in leadership should not be a challenging choice.”

“Every day, I see these campaign vehicles going around my neighbourhood, but I doubt the younger generation will be influenced by songs and slogans,” says Ujwal, a resident of Nacharam.

“My primary concern revolves around education. The government should plan the education curriculum in a way which not just caters to the students but seeks accountability from the faculty,” says Richa Christina, a 20-year-old student pursuing her B.Tech at BVRIT College of Engineering for Women.

“Observing the handling of various controversies by the current BJP regime has led me to seek alternatives among other party candidates,” remarked Sadaf Khan, a 21-year-old architecture student at Aurora Design Academy. Sadaf recounts that she is a daily commuter to her college and says the high price of petrol is taking a toll on her finances.

Emmanuel Swarup, a 22-year-old student at Hyderabad’s Culinary Academy of India, shares that he is yet to go through the manifestos of the political parties, and will make up his mind after gauging the sincerity of their promises.

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