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6 Days and 180 km: This 73-year-old Hassan Man is on Karnataka Cycle Tour to Make His Father Proud

By: Stacy Pereira

CNN-News18

Last Updated: April 18, 2019, 23:46 IST

Representation image. (Getty Images)

Representation image. (Getty Images)

The septuagenarian said that besides urging people to vote, he has cycled to spread awareness on cow slaughter, AIDS, swine flu, corruption and to promote usage of toilets.

Bengaluru: A 73-year-old man from Hassan is on a month-long cycle journey in Karnataka to make his father proud. The septuagenarian's father, who was a freedom fight, had asked him to always fulfill his duty towards the country, and by cycling throughout the state, he is precisely doing that.

Since voting is every citizen's right and duty, Umapati Marlidiyar from Arsikere's Malekal Tirupati is going door-to-door, from Chikmangaluru to Bengaluru, requesting people to exercise their franchise.

Marlidiyar's journey began on March 25 and will continue till the next phase of elections on April 23, which will see another 14 seats from Karnataka going to polls. He says that he has been welcomed where ever he has gone, sometimes even district tehsildars provide him food and a place to rest at night.

"People look at me and my age, and when they see my courage to cycle long distances, they too are encouraged. They assure me that they will all go out and vote and my message is irrespective of which party they support," he said.

Marlidiyar has so far cycled 38,680 kilometres since his days as a sportsman. He has vowed to encourage people to vote till his last days.

"I have travelled 11 states and in Karnataka, I have cycled to 27 districts. In three districts I have gone around, six were taluks and 40 gram panchayats. Fourth district was Hassan, which went to polls on Thursday, and from here I will go to Bangalore. In the state capital, I will meet the election commissioner and give him some tips for future elections. There needs to be some changes in the method of elections," he said.

The septuagenarian said that besides urging people to vote, he has cycled to spread awareness on gau hatya, AIDS, swine flu, corruption and to promote usage of toilets.