Elderly voters brave inclement weather, uphold democracy

Udhampur: 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 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 the catching up on the day’s news on his television set. At the Government School in Upper Garnai, fellow voters honored 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.

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