Elderly brave weather conditions to vote

| | New Delhi
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Elderly brave weather conditions to vote

Sunday, 26 May 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Elderly voters in the national capital braved the scorching heat to cast their ballot, with some reaching polling centres after a one-kilometre walk and few others being brought to the booths on stretchers.

According to the data shared by the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, there were 97,823 voters aged above 85. More than 5,400 voters had chosen the home-voting facility made available by the Election Commission this time to electors above the age of 85.

Some of the notable personalities who exercised their franchise using the home-voting facility included former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former deputy prime minister LK Advani, ex-Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi, among others.

Prem Hinduja, a 97-year-old resident of Old Rajinder Nagar, was brought on a stretcher to the polling booth. The frail old man urged people to vote for “welfare of the country and humanity”.

“It is one of the most essential things to do (casting one's vote). You should vote for the right people who should represent the country,” he added.Anuradha Kaul, an 86-year-old woman, was accompanied to the polling booth by her son and daughter. “I will come and vote at the polling booth instead of opting for home voting as long as my legs are moving,” she asserted.

Baldev Raj Parashar (84) walked for a kilometre all the way from his home to cast his vote at a polling booth in Dariba Kalan. “We do not want to become freeloaders. We do not need jumlas,” he said while walking back home with a stick. 

Jyotsana Kumari Jain (79), who is suffering from paralysis, cast her vote at a polling booth in Kalkaji. She was accompanied by her granddaughter who said on her behalf, “The condition of roads is bad and there is an issue of last-mile connectivity. The government should work on improving the condition of roads and making places where we visit commonly disabled friendly.”

There were some people who complained about lack of adequate facilities at polling booths. A 75-year-old man, who cast his vote at a polling booth in Kalkaji, alleged there was no drinking water inside the booth and the facilities were not up to the mark.

Some elderly voters complained the polling stations were far from the main gate of the premises. “It is a huge ground that we have to cross to reach the polling station from the entrance gate. This could be managed for the elderly people like us,” Hemant Sachdeva (65), a retired government officer who exercised his franchise at a polling centre in Dwarka, said.

Narendra Nath (68), a retired Indian Railways officer said, “They (administration) could have provided us a golf cart to reach our polling booths from the entrance gate. The police, in fact, did not allow our vehicle to be parked near the gate.”

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