#NoExcusesDay: Promoting Voter Awareness and Responsibility


On the auspicious occasion of advocating for voter awareness and responsibility, a “#NoExcusesDay” event was held at SRM University-AP on May 09, 2024, organised by the Times of India and the Directorate of Communications of the university. The event, graced by Chief Guest, Mr Harendhira Prasad, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, aimed to emphasise the significance of voting in a democracy and to motivate citizens, especially the youth, to exercise their right to vote without fail.

The event commenced with the display of a motivating video message from President Draupadi Murmu, setting the tone for the importance of active participation in the electoral process. Highlighting the statistics of voting percentages in assembly elections from Hyderabad, the video presentation was followed by an address by Mr Rajiv Kumar, the Chief Election Commissioner, who underscored the importance of adding 97 crore voters to the electoral rolls.

The introduction of technology in the electoral process was a key point of discussion, with emphasis placed on the utilisation of advanced methods to ensure smooth and efficient polling. The staggering number of 10.5 lakh polling stations across the nation further underscored the magnitude of the electoral process.

Under the theme “Chunav Ka Parv Desh Ka Garv” (Festival of Elections, Pride of the Nation), the event witnessed active participation from students and faculty members alike. Mr Pankaj Belwariar, Director of Communications, and Mr Anil Nigam, Director of Student Affairs, graced the stage to extend their support and encouragement towards fostering a culture of voting. The event also provided a platform for students to share their first-time voting experiences. M. Kartika, Y. Ramya, V. Suma, and Tamineni Harnan Reddy shared their personal anecdotes, underscoring the sense of responsibility and empowerment that comes with casting a vote.

Mr Pankaj Belwariar’s impassioned speech resonated with the audience as he articulated the significance of treating voting as a non-negotiable duty. His “no-excuse day” message struck a chord, urging individuals to overcome obstacles and prioritise their democratic duty. Mr Anil Nigam elaborated on the disparities between rural and urban voting patterns, highlighting the heightened enthusiasm observed in rural areas. Aditya Challa, a fourth-year student, emphasised the symbiotic relationship between voting and the right to question, asserting, “No vote, no right to question.”


The event reached its pinnacle with the chief guest, Mr Harendhira Prasad’s speech, where the imperative nature of May 13th, termed as “D-day” for both assembly and Lok Sabha elections, was underscored. Stressing the importance of carrying approved identification cards for casting votes, the chief guest reiterated that voting is not just a right but a solemn duty that every citizen must fulfil.

The significance of the None of the Above (NOTA) option was elucidated, serving as a powerful tool for citizens to express dissent and demand accountability from political parties. The chief guest, Mr Harendhira Prasad, made a humble request for citizens to fulfil their duty with the same diligence as those involved in organising the elections, resonating deeply with the audience.

In conclusion, the event served as a poignant reminder of the privileges and responsibilities inherent in a democratic society. Through informative sessions, personal anecdotes, and impassioned speeches, attendees were galvanised to embrace their role in shaping the future of the nation through the simple yet profound act of voting. As May 13, 2024 approaches, the call to action reverberates loud and clear: no excuses, only votes.

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