Young voters of Mumbai want government policies to encompass social justice

Image courtesy: hellomumbai

By Daisy Katta,

The elections in Mumbai are slated to be held on 29th April in Mumbai. This is will be part of the 4th and the final phase of Lok Sabha Elections.’s Daisy K spoke to people around Mumbai to understand their demands and expectations from the upcoming elections.

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Sadhana is a student from Mumbai. Sadhana’s father came to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh at a very young age. Sadhana is first from from her family to attain higher education. Her parents enrolled her into a local municipal school which had hardly any facilities for students. Despite the odds, Sadhana  is pursuing her Masters in Social Work and hopes to become a Professor. She pointed out that that getting citizenship entitlements like reservations is very difficult for students who come from migrant families.In Sadhna’s case she could not avail any facilities in spite her father having a domicile certificate, she says, “they told us you are migrants so you can’t get a certificate”. Not having a certificate created many financial hurdles for Sadhana as she could not apply for any state sponsored scholarship schemes for students nor could she apply to the college of her choice. She says” Atleast for girls they should have a provision from the government…The current government even got a 13 point roster, if someone like me wants to be a Professor tomorrow how is it possible?”

She adds, “Everyone is talking about women empowerment, but when you go to schools they are asking the girls students to take dupatta and scarves, where as all the boys will only have pant and shirt, if they want to teach equality why don’t they allow pant shirts for even girls, if you are teaching equality it should be followed everywhere. Eve in the Sabarimala case, the government is only saying don’t give entry for the women. If the government is saying dont give entry for women, tomorrow the private sector companies will also say why should we give entry to women? They will say you will want a maternity leave and things like that . The private sector also just wants an excuse as well”.


Ashirwad is from Wardha district in Maharashtra and is a student from Mumbai. He says “One of the major issues today is the curbing of educational scholarships by government. This will affect the large number of students who come from rural villages to the cities for higher education. Like the Maharashtra government has GOI  Post Matric Scholarships or the Swadhar Yojana, but there is no proper execution of these scholarships on the ground level by the government. Nowadays even a OBC students, which is a large category in Maharashtra is treated as a General category student, this has reduced the OBC student enrollment in higher education. Now with the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) reservation is a big question now, we don’t know how will the government execute it. For a student from OBC background in Maharashtra to avail scholarship the income criteria is below one lac, but now with the EWS reservation, students from the General category with an income of 8 lac and below will get the benefits.  This is a discrimination, because more than the EWS the OBC’s are more marginalised category, and with the implementation of EWS we will get to see the gross injustice in the universities.

Regarding the current political scenario in Maharashtra, Ashirwad adds, “I think VBA ( Vanchit Bahujan Agahdi) has a strong supporter of  the students movement, compared to the other two parties. Prakash Ambedkar’s stand on the students struggles and his advocacy during the various youth related issues in Maharashtra is commendable I think the youths here are definitely  are looking upto Prakash Ambedkar now.

Dr. Sandip Medhe
Dr.Sadip Medhe grew up in Shegaon a small town in Buldana District in Maharashtra. He is a first generation graduate from his family. Currently Dr.Medhe has just finished a course in Harvard and his research looked at caste and health outcomes.Dr. Medhe spoke to TCN about how caste has played a role in determining the health outcomes of marginalised communities. Dr. Medhe  talks about why the government should work on the social aspect while formulating health policies in a country like India, to bring in a better health care system for the marginalised communities. He says that social justice needs to be placed at the centre of health issues in India.

As a doctor and a citizen of this country what I expect from the government is to give better healthcare facilities, if you look at the health outcomes in our country, the stark reality is that  these health outcomes are dependent on the privileges of communities which they have been enjoying historically. Unfortunately the marginalised community and castes in India have had the worst health outcomes if you go by the first  NFHS survey conducted in 1992-93. They have come up with very unfortunate health statistics Maternal Mortality Rate , Child Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate, anemia during pregnancy, inaccessibility to the primary health care system, these statistics are unfortunately bad especially marginalised communities like Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes and the Other Backward Classes compared to the other communities.  Since 1989 these statistics are out in public domain, but no one has paid any heed to it. As a healthcare professional I hope any government which is going to come to power makes the health inequality a burning issue, so they come up with inclusive policy to address this health inequality and hope it brings some positive outcome to faltering healthcare system in India. There should also be equal opportunity to access the healthcare system  to the marginalised communities which are there in rural areas.


Prafful is an Economics graduate and is a resident of Phule Nagar in Mumbai, which was one of the areas which is one of the areas which were affected during the Bhima Koregoan backlash.  He says that the social media campaigning of both the Congress and BJP is very strong, he comes across numerous messages everyday on social media. Although he feels that VBA ( Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi)  looks very promising. He says, “ I feel the Buddhists will vote for the VBA, I think it will surely win atleast in Akola where there are five seats. I also feel they have a strong chance of winning in Mumbai as well”.

The rally which VBA organised in Dadar Shivaji Park in February addressing the issues of the indgenious population in Mumbai. The Dussehra rally in Mumbai is a yearly Shiv Sena tradition on the  famed Shivaji Park grounds in Dadar which has been a Sena bastion for long, but holding the rally in the same place has sent out a strong message.Prafful adds, “Prakash Ambedkar along with Owaisi held the rally in Shivaji Park recently , I think this has helped them in creating a huge impact in Mumbai”.