24 Apr Election Experience
To date, we have successfully conducted two voter registration drives, as a result of which 8 migrant workers got their voter ID’s and the right to make their voice heard in the recent Delhi Municipal Corporation Election. Initially, because of the complex registration process, the reality of domestic migrant workers casting their ballot seemed very far away. On the April 23rd, however, idea became action. On that day, 5 domestic migrants MVMV helped register as voters, cast their first vote in the DMC Election. This way, MVMV has not only changed lives of these individuals but also played it’s small part in recent elections
While some may argue that 5 votes cannot affect the outcome of an election, they fail to realize that casting a vote is more significant than the outcome. Democracy starts at the grassroots level, from the bottom up. Voting is the fundament of democracy. It gives citizens of a country a political voice and a sense of belonging. Communal belonging and individual empowerment were the two dominant emotions evident to Siya and me when we went to Badli, the polling station, and saw people we helped cast their votes.
The atmosphere in Badli was overwhelming, exciting, and energetic as thousands of people were lining up to cast their votes. The voters’ enthusiasm for participating and making their voice heard despite the heat and humidity was truly inspiring, and I couldn’t be prouder that 5 people in that queue were there just because of MVMV.
But there were some unexpected complications along the way. Due to the fact that the people we helped were new voters, they were not on the list for the voting ticket, which is required to enter the station. The volunteers there were extremely busy as they had to deal with thousands of inquiries, so they at first refused helping our voters get their tickets. I could sense their spirits flag, but Siya and I were not ready to hear no for an answer. We knew that this was too important a moment for these people, so we decided to do everything in our power to get them to vote. We tracked down the main organizer of the volunteers and found out how we can get tickets for the new voters. It was an exhausting process, but when we saw the first time voters come out of the booths with a smile on their face, we knew that all the effort we put in was worth it. Nothing could ever top the pride they felt that day.