This is an audio visual data project that captures the mood of first-time women and queer voters in India. To begin, turn on your volume.

In 2024, 18 million people are becoming active political citizens with an official franchise

They are India's new first-time voters.

a hand applying electoral ink to a voter's hand

As they prepare to get their fingers inked, what are their dreams and aspirations for the republic? How do they imagine the future of India and their place in it?

section separator

Even if it is just a day, I hope all boys and girls can live safely. A day without uncomfortable glances and full of joy. Even if it is just one night, we are able to sleep in peace.

face of a voter

Rahath (21) from Attingal in Kerala just wants a day of peace and content.

In a traditionally male-centric democracy, more women and gender diverse persons are turning up at polling booths in every subsequent election. In some states they are outnumbering male voters. They are challenging the old narrative of ‘women are not interested in politics’ by exercising their franchise, contesting elections, influencing within and outside their communities, and making their voice heard.

The diversity of their voices, strong, assertive and brimming with ideas needed to be heard and documented. For posterity. For when the history of the General Election 2024 is written, let it be known that these young voters spoke up and articulated their vision.

Mera First Vote is a unique multimedia project that aims to capture the dreams, imaginations and aspirations of first-time voters in India as they claim their space in the country’s democracy.

We spoke to 60 first-time women and queer voters across India

section separator
section separator
section separator

The young voters’ imagination for the future of India lies in equality, free education and administrative and political transparency.

But these stories aren't just about politics – they're about people. The hopes, dreams, and aspirations of a new generation of voters who are ready to make their voices heard.

section separator


Between January and April 2024, we asked 60 women and queer first-time voters a set of 10 questions. These questions ranged from how they got their news and political information, issues that influenced their voting choices, what they thought were some of the big issues facing the nation, their aspirations from the next government to what they would do if they were made PM for a day.

We spoke to these first-time voters from 42 parliamentary constituencies across 20 states. These were from urban, semi-urban and rural areas–from cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru to remote villages in Bastar, Kalahandi, Anantnag and Vadakara. Most (70%) of them were students and the rest included development practitioners, healthcare workers, retail salespeople, a teacher and a daily wage labourer. More than half (58%) are younger than 22 and most (75%) finished their graduation.

These 60 voices include 43 Hindus, 11 Muslims and 2 Christians. 10 are from Scheduled Castes, 7 from Scheduled Tribes and 3 from Denotified Tribes; 7 Trans and Non Binary people, 3 are persons with disabilities and 2 are residents of backward areas.

These 60 video interviews formed the base for our dataset. After transcribing these interviews, we categorised the responses and assigned keywords to the categories on a spreadsheet- for eg, the 3 issues they cared about. This dataset formed the basis of our analysis.


Project Lead: Shreya Raman
Transcriptions and Data Encoding: Rahmath Rahila Illiyas
Editing Team: Suruchi Kumar, Nisha Matamp
Illustrations: Urvi Sawant
Socials: Glenissa Pereira

Reporters: Aishwarya Mohanty, Ankita Dhar, Babita Solanki, Bhanupriya Rao, Jisha Surya, Jyoti Dhalwal, Khushbu Sharma, Mahesh Kumar, Natasha Negi, Neelu Dahiya, Poonam Masih, Pramila Kumari, Priyanka Samy, Priyanka Tupe, Rahmath Rahila Illiyas, Sadhika Tiwari, Safeena Wani, Sasreena Mohammed, Shreya Raman, Sumitra, Thomas Ngangom

Collaborators: Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi, Revival Disability Collective, Khabar Lahariya

Design, development and production by Revisual Labs (Aishwarya Viswanathan, Schubert de Abreu)