Visakhapatnam: Perhaps the only predictable facet about Indian elections is that they are unpredictable!
First-time voters from Visakhapatnam are all excited to exercise their franchise, come April 11.
While 34 lakh voters in the district are set to exercise their franchise, close to 1 lakh are newly-enrolled voters in the age group of 18-19, and most are college students.
Interestingly, these students have mixed opinions. While some are hoping that the government-elect will bring in more jobs to the city of destiny; others are calling for reforms in the education sector and help to farmers.
Tejaswini Botta, a 3rd year engineering student from Dr. L Bullaya College, who is casting her vote for the first time, believes that voting will makes her more responsible. She says she expects the government to bring more jobs to the city.
“Most of the students are migrating to other cities because of dearth of jobs in Vizag. I guess if the government can generate jobs and establish more companies here, as a localite, it’ll benefit us,” Tejaswini said, adding, “I also want better safety practices for women.”
Calling for better educational reforms, Niharika Varma, a final year Biochemistry student from Gayatri College, wants to plug the brain drain. She said that the best of the talent is leaving for other countries due to lack of opportunities.
“The current education system needs to be restructured. Education is being provided only to those who can afford it, but I plea the government to encourage bright students from other forward communities who can’t afford higher studies,” Niharika says, adding, “I wish that the corrupt practices in education will also come to end too.”
Since Visakhapatnam is the fastest-developing city in AP, students are expecting a surge in IT jobs. Naturally, the poll campaign and promises of all the netas are centred around creating jobs.
For 19 year-old Yeripilli Vasu, a final year B. Com student from Prism College, accountability and honesty is what matters. He cites the example of how political parties have sidelined the concept of Special Category Status to the state.
“SCS will attract more companies and thereby bring more jobs. Unfortunately, none of the parities could get that thinking about their own political benefits. I wish there is progress on those lines,” says Vasu, adding, “I look at the track record of the candidate who is contesting rather than his party.”
D.V.S. Charan, who is pursuing 2nd year engineering student from Gayatri College, couldn’t agree more. He says farmers need to be given top priority.
“As a student I would love getting a job straightaway after studies. So I am hoping that Vizag city has enough jobs at least after two years,” explains Charan, adding, “I want farmers to be given top priority, after all, we are eating because of them.”
Another aspect that’s being extensively discussed by the youngsters is opportunities for entrepreneurship. Apparently many students, after completing studies, express interest in turning entrepreneurs.
Prithvi, a young entrepreneur who has been running a hardware firm from three years, says that more schemes from the government for sustaining business would be welcome.
“I hope the government would come up with more schemes at the policy level so that it helps in sustaining businesses. I want the government to further promote entrepreneurship so that we can create more jobs.”...