For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

For many persons in twilight – occasion was to socialise

‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ spirit motivated others
03:42 AM Apr 20, 2024 IST | SHUCHISMITA
for many persons in twilight – occasion was to socialise

Kathua, Apr 19: Asha Rani, 75, on a wheel-chair entered the Polling Station 63 set up in Government Girls Higher Secondary School (GGHSS), Kathua.


Accompanied by her son Rajesh Kumar, 52 and his wife, Asha was ecstatic as she came out after casting her vote and media-persons surrounded her.


“For me, this (election) came as a handy opportunity to come out of the confines of the house. I met so many people here, even forgotten friends and distant relatives. I’m feeling good,” she stated, when asked what made her come to the polling station to vote though she had an option to vote from her residence only.


“I opted to come here because I knew this would be an opportunity to meet people. It’s a rare trip for me. As far as voting is concerned, I know the value of my vote. One vote can make a difference. I’ve always been very particular,” she asserts, while exchanging pleasantries with women of her age, outside the polling station.


Her son Rajesh had one grouse that his two children (both first-time voters) could not cast their vote as their name was not in the list. But he was happy that his mother did come to exercise her right to franchise.


BLO Sanjeev Sharma, however, explained that the issue was related to rules related to first-time voters as names could be updated on quarterly-basis.


Hansraj, 92, a resident of Ward Number 2, could neither understand questions nor could answer them, given his age-related ailments. However, smilingly, he said, “I’ve come here to vote to elect the candidate of my choice.”


His wife Kanta, 83, stated that she always voted. “For me, this (to vote) is a tradition to be maintained. I’ve never missed out.”

“I came here to vote. You never know what’s in the future. Will I be able to come next time or not, who knows?” she left with a philosophical answer, imbuing the spirit of “Kal Ho Na Ho.”

They both were accompanied by their grandson Sachin, a first-time voter.

Meanwhile, a government spokesperson stated that the elders in Udhampur district also demonstrated similar spirits.

In the picturesque hills of Udhampur, amidst the drizzling rain, stood Chunni Lal, a 91-year-old beacon of unwavering commitment to democracy. Resolute with his walking stick, Lal braved the weather to be the first in the queue at the Upper Garnai village polling station for the Lok Sabha General elections of 2024.

“I don't exactly know how many votes I have cast till now. But I will always do my duty to strengthen the democratic process of our country," declared Lal as his voice resonated with the wisdom of ages. Before heading out to cast his ballot, Lal followed his morning routine, a breakfast followed by catching up on the day's news on his television set.

At the Government School in Upper Garnai, fellow voters honoured Lal, making way for him to vote unhindered, a tradition born out of deep respect for his steadfast dedication to the electoral process. Similarly, in another corner of Udhampur, a heart-warming tale unfolded at the Govt High School Ritti polling station. Naseeb Singh, 93, and his wife Shanti Devi, 87, epitomized the spirit of civic duty as they embarked on a one-kilometer journey, traversing rugged terrain to cast their votes.

Accompanied by their son, the elderly couple was greeted with warmth and assistance from polling staff and fellow citizens upon their arrival. With steady steps, Naseeb Singh and Shanti Devi entered the polling booth, ready to add yet another ballot to their storied rich history of electoral participation. "All the arrangements were good; we didn’t face any problem while casting our vote," expressed Shanti Devi, her words echoing the sentiment of a community united in upholding the democratic process.

Meanwhile, amidst the relentless downpour, 75-year-old Vishno Devi displayed unwavering determination at Roun village of Udhampur district to cast her ballot.

Undeterred by the rain, she stood in a lengthy queue, umbrella in hand, patiently waiting for her turn to exercise her democratic right. After enduring a 30-minute wait, Devi finally marked her vote, her steadfastness echoing the importance of this civic duty. Reflecting on her experience, she remarked, "The wait was worth it. Such opportunities to choose our representatives only come once every five years."

The Udhampur parliamentary constituency in Jammu and Kashmir witnessed these inspiring acts of civic engagement during the first phase of the Lok Sabha Elections-2024. As the rain continued to fall softly, the resilience and dedication of these elderly voters served as a poignant reminder of the enduring strength of democracy amidst the tranquil hills of Udhampur, the government spokesperson said.