Tackling corruption as well as job shortage, improving trade and diplomatic relations with Pakistan, and better basic amenities are the top concerns of the youth of Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat.
The youth of border areas participated in HT’s agenda meet as part of the Young India Votes series, held at Genesis Institute of Dental Science and Research here on Monday.
Asked to list their priorities, a majority of them mentioned corruption, drug menace, women’s security and revamp of the education system with greater opportunities.
Harpreet Singh Goraya (21), who is pursuing BDS (bachelors in dental surgery), said, “India has the best Constitution, but the need of the hour is to implement it in a transparent manner, for which political will is the key factor. A majority of the politicians are still dependant upon ‘babus’ to make or even implement laws.”
Unchecked flow of drugs is also a major issue. “It’s ridiculous that those (politicians) who are supposed to stop such anti-youth activities are often reportedly backing suppliers of contraband,” rued Shivani Mittal, who is pursing a diploma course at Government Shaheed Bhagat Singh State Technical Campus, Ferozepur.
“Why can’t girls step out of their homes at night? Why should girls suffer at the hands of illmannered boys or due to lack of law and order,” questioned Seema, an MBA student.
“If one has taken the benefit of reservation for admission into a professional course, then it’s irrelevant to give him quota in jobs as well as promotion,” says Navneet Kaur Bajwa, an MTech student.
“More than six-and-a-half decades have passed since the introduction of the caste-based reservation policy. It’s high time that the same be now replaced with economic-based reservation for the uplift of people from any caste, creed or religion,” said Vishal Kakkar, a BDS student.
The young electorate sees lack of proper education as the root cause of all problems. “Be it crime, drugs or unemployment, all are attributed to the ill-conceived education system,” said Isha Dhawan (25), a dental student.
“The rich sporting talent among the local youth has gone astray due to lack of spor ts facilities. The government must channel the energies of the youth to save them from social ills such as drug menace and crime, including sexual harassment,” said Tejinder Singh (20), a national-level footballer who is pursuing BCA.
CANDIDATE, NOT PARTY
It’s not the parties but the candidates and their work that matter to the young voter. In their view, the country needs a stable government.
They claim that neither the ‘Modi wave’ nor Rahul Gandhi’s charm means much to them. They accuse sitting MP and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) nominee Sher Singh Ghubaya of remaining inaccessible and largely favouring his own community. However, they gave him credit for setting up an engineering college in the remote area of Jalalabad, even though his own family runs it.
Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar is a known face for the youngsters, courtesy his family legacy. His clean image and oratory skills have added to his credentials, but the young voters accuse his family of giving alleged priority to Abohar at the cost of other areas, when they remained in power in the past.
Aam Aadmi Party nominee Satnam Pal Kamboj is not so well known, face, but being an advocate, he is expected to raise the voice of the people. By strengthening the AAP, the youth wish to make it a watchdog for other political parties to work for the common man or else face the music.
“Even though the AAP does not have much experience, the common man has high hopes from the party,” said Amitoj Kaur (23), a BDS student.