For Ahmedabad's 662 Voters Aged 100 and Above, Not Voting is Not an Option
In Gujarat Assembly polls next month, 65 years after India’s first election, Ahmedabad’s Centenarian voters are planning to vote early in the morning before queues outside the booths get longer and tiresome.
Ahmedabad’s Centenarian voters.
Ahmedabad: They were born in a country that was a British colony. Post-Independence, they have voted in nearly every election with similar zeal, hoping to see a better Gujarat and a better India. Meet Ahmedabad’s Centenarian voters.
In Gujarat Assembly polls next month, 65 years after India’s first election, they are planning to vote early in the morning before queues outside the booths get longer and tiresome.
Ahmedabad district has a total of 662 registered voters above the age of 100 and 7,181 voters between the ages of 90 and 100. For them, not voting is not even an option.
Take, for instance, Umiaben Patel, 103-year-old resident of Ghatlodia village in Ahmedabad, who did not even let a personal tragedy come in the way of her right to vote. “My vote is worth more than a lakh rupees. Why should it go to waste?” she asks. “My husband died 20 years ago, in the year 1997. The election was scheduled for the very next day. I went to the polling booth and cast my vote. Some people don’t vote out of convenience. But they should, because only a vote can ensure that good people come to power.”
Manguben Prahladbhai Patel, 106, from Bavla village said, “I have voted in every single election since Independence and I am proud of that. I don’t want to stop now.”
Others, like Leelaben Bharwad and Hiraben Thakor, both 101-year-old residents of Viramgam, believe that while voting is not compulsory under law, they have a self-imposed rule making it compulsory for themselves.
Manibhai Patel is a 101-year-old voter from Maninagar, which was represented in the Gujarat Assembly by then Chief Minister Narendra Modi till 2014. He says, “You have got to vote! It’s not an option. The youth, especially, should vote because the future belongs to them.”
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