New Delhi: Sipping tea at a road side stall, with his ten-year-old grandson by his side, 90-year-old Khimanan Upreti had a joyous look on his face. "I have never missed voting till now. Many wonder what change one vote will bring. But I know every single vote counts," Upreti said outside a polling station in Gole market.
Braving age and their physical limitations, elderly people turned up in large numbers at the polling stations across Delhi to exercise their franchise on Saturday.
For Abdul Aziz (64) who cast his vote in Matia Mahal constituency, casting ballot was a part of his conscience ('imaan') "Vote dena humhara imaan hai. Jab tak sehat ijazat karegi tab tak vote karenge. Apne ghar ka aur desh ka dhyan mein rakhkar vote diya hai (Voting is a part of our conscience. As long as health permits, will keep voting. I have cast my vote keeping in mind both my home and my nation's welfare)."
However, Ballimaran resident 60-year old Zenat cast her vote to the party whom her son supported. "I have voted for the party of my son's choice," she said. Gandhi Nagar resident, 80-year old Raj Rani who came to vote with the aid of a walker, even beat the enthusiasm of the youth there.
"Hindustani hu, josh kyun kam hoga (I am an Indian, why should I be less enthusiastic...) Issues like inflation affect us and conditions of roads in our area is very bad. I hope the next government will be a stable one and work towards improving the same," she said flashing a smile.
For 82-year-old Chitra Khilnani, a resident of Gulmohar Enclave in Malviya Nagar casting vote was a duty more than a right. "It is one's duty to vote. It's a contribution on our part to help form the government which is going to last for atleast five years. We want a government which delivers and not only makes promises," said Khilnani.
In Kiran Bedi's constituency Krishna Nagar in east Delhi, a group of enthusiastic elderly women could be seen lining up at the polling stations. An elderly couple, Paliwals appeared cheerful as they walked out of the booth after casting their vote.
"We were exempted from standing in the queue and were also escorted to the booth by the officials," said Anubhav Paliwal. However, it was not such a pleasant experience for some who complained about lack of facilities at the polling stations. Ashoke Vihar resident, 78-year old Swarnalata Gupta found it difficult to walk till the booth but was provided no assistance.
"I am not able to walk or stand in the same position for long. But they did not allow our car drop me inside nor there was any arrangement of a wheelchair. Till last year, they did allow us to take the car inside so it was easier for me," she complained.
88-year-old Dharmender Jain from Uttam Nagar said, "I tell you the situation was much better under the British administration. Law enforcement was better. But now everyone is running after power and money."