Dubai: As the Indian elections drew to a close on Sunday, first-time voters said they felt ‘empowered’ as they cast their ballots. They hope to see India as a superpower with better economic conditions, health care, education, and safety and security needs in the coming years.

About 34 per cent of India’s population is made up of youth. Out of 900 million eligible voters around 84 million cast their votes for the first time, of which 15 million were aged 18-19.

So what do the voters want from the government?

Tejaswini Muthukumar, 19, an Arts student in Karnataka who cast her vote in Bengaluru, wants the government to do the simple task of fulfilling their promises. She said: “All I want is for the younger politicians to contest and express the ideas of its citizens. False promises which were made by the current government and which haven’t been met need to stop from this election onwards.”

On the other hand a student from Jharkhand, Kumar Satyam, 22, was satisfied with the work of this government and wanted it to increase the pace of development. “I am pretty sure the current government will get re-elected and it should strive harder to create more employment in the country. We need India to become economically independent.”

“Women’s safety is a matter of concern apart from the serious problem of pollution Delhi has to face on a day-to-day basis. These are the two major issues that the government needs to look into at the earliest. In the last decade India has made great progress so I feel in the next five years India will be a force to reckon and will be the hub of production.” said Kumar Shivam, 21, a UG student of Delhi university.

Ayush Sinha, 20, voted in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh which is his hometown. He motivated the younger generation of his family to understand this responsibility. He believes India will become a superpower one day. Better education and better health care are the key for India to become a great nation, he said. “It is my fundamental right to vote and this is what gives me power to question the government.”

Disha Gupta, a 21 year old resident of Delhi, said: “I felt proud to be able to vote and contribute to our nation as I believe every vote counts. I see India with better economic conditions in five years from now. I believe that the major cause for the downward graph of the economy is the rate of unemployment and poverty the country has.” Disha who is a professional dancer has faith in the youth and influences them constantly through social media.

— The writer is an intern at Gulf News