Driving Young India to Vote
   03-Apr-2019
Democracy Warriors have just one purpose in mind—making sure that eligible youngsters register and vote
— Anusuya Suresh 
 
Democracy Warriors (DW) is a team of spirited individuals in Bengaluru who are working to create awareness about voting and helping with the voter registration process both online and offline. The team comprising of working individuals, students and homemakers has been striving to educate people on the importance of voting.
 
Democracy Warriors at work during the Voter Registration drive 
 
Formed in February 2019, the apolitical group has just one purpose in mind—making sure that eligible youngsters register and vote in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections. They started by visiting colleges in the city.
 
How they Work?
Armed with a short presentation running not more than 12 minutes, the DW volunteers approached several well-known colleges in Bengaluru city, offering to sensitise first-time voters to the value of their vote. The major thrust of the drive was on guiding first-time voters through the registration process using both online and offline platforms. The volunteers also gave out details of how one can find and verify their names on the electoral roll.
 
Students were made aware of how valuable each one’s vote is for a true representation of the people’s choice in a democracy. The presentation also gave them a brief overview of 7th Schedule of the Indian Constitution to know which subjects are on the Union, State and Concurrent lists. The DW volunteers made sure the students understood how to use this information to decide the key issues on which to vote in any election.
 
Besides giving out information, the group also coordinated with the colleges to set up help desks to actively guide students through the registration process, spending one or two days at each institution. “Our work was highly appreciated by Dr. Nandeesh, Director of the prestigious RV College of Engineering,” says DW coordinator, Ms. Meenakshi Iyer, “He congratulated us on our efforts, and paved the way for similar drives in their sister institutions in other parts of Bengaluru city.”
 
Response and Impact
DW took the voter registration drives to colleges all over the city such as New Horizon College of Engineering, Bellandur, Vivekananda College of Pharmacy, Rajajinagar, PES College, Hanumanthnagar, RV College of Engineering, Mysore Road, SJRC College, Rajajinagar and APS College, Basavanagudi. The DW volunteers say they have reached out to about 5000 students in just one month. “I am really thankful to Democracy Warriors for the approach they used, and all the information they gave us,” said engineering student Divya R. “My friends and I are eagerly waiting to vote for the first time in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”
 
Another student Hemanth Kumar adds, “Many of us wanted to register as voters, but hadn’t done anything about it. When we learned of the online mode of registration, it was a boon for us, and we registered using the NVSP site. Now we will make sure we go and vote for a bright future for India!”
 
The work of the DW team so inspired students that two of them from RVCE volunteered their efforts, and conducted an online voter registration camp, guiding the residents of an apartment complex in RR Nagar.
 
The DW team is not one to rest on these laurels alone, though. They are now focusing on the next important part. Their volunteers are calling up the students to follow up and check if they received their voter credentials. They are also urging these students to go out and vote decisively in large numbers, to make sure their voice counts in the electoral process.