With the elections around the corner, Chaitanya Prabhu a national athlete and a law student enthusiastic about exercising his vote in the General Elections realized that most of his peers did not even have their Voters identity card. Chaitanya all of nineteen reached out to his friends and volunteered to sign them up himself. What started as a small act of creating awareness among his own friends made Chaitanya realize that the youth of this country doesn’t actively participate in the democratic process.
This is alarming because 50 percent of India population is young and they are the future of our country. Chaitanya decided to study the process of registration and break it down into simple steps to encourage more students to register. That’s how Mark Your Presence was born and its founder Chaitanya Prabhu began to educate students his own age about the importance of participating in the Electoral process.
Chaitanya believes that for a healthy democracy, it is very important for the youth to participate in it. He managed to register all of his friends and his peers, while doing so he realized that registration was the first step but one would have to follow up with the officers in designated wards to ensure that that no voter was left behind. To facilitate this he approached the Electoral Commission of Maharashtra for their support. The Electoral Commission was very encouraging and gave their full support to this movement.
The campaign started, gaining momentum and we started registrations on a larger scale. Mark Your Presence built their own the website which is called, Markyourpresence.org.in. Our website has all the information that a prospective voter may require. The website assists the voter to track their voter IDs, check if their name is on the electoral roll, find the closest polling stations etc. Chaitanya says “it’s a 7.30 minute process to registration online, it is as easy a making a Gmail account he adds.
Mark Your Present has taken the campaign to schools, colleges and universities and educated students about the importance of voting followed by registering all the students who attended the seminar. We have registered over 6000 students for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Chaitanya says that the focus for coming state elections is trying to reach out to as many educational institutions and continuing the campaign on all the social media platforms. He said they are currently working on a podcast wherein the importance of voting and issues concerning the youth will be discussed.
He aims to educate a large number of students through these podcasts so the target of maximum engagement can be reached through social media platforms. He strongly believes that if the youth comes together we can create a difference. He says “it’s not about the next election it’s about the next generation” That Its not important who wins or loses an election as long as you vote and the country strengthens.
Chaitanya believes that education and voting is an ongoing process and needs to be implemented in the daily course of life. Mark your presence aims to connect with the youth of the country and is all set to increase the voter turnout out in the next election.