On wheelchairs, with support, senior citizens make their vote count

New Delhi: Determined to make their vote count, the elderly came out in large numbers to vote in the Delhi assembly elections Saturday – many with walking aids or leaning for support on others in vignettes that are a ringing endorsement of India’s democracy.
Ninety-three-year old Shankutla Devi, a resident of B.K. Dutt Colony, came to vote with a younger member holding her arm for support. Devi said that she ensures that she never misses any election.
“I feel good about voting, Delhi needs a stable government that could last full five years under a strong leadership,” she told IANS. Another determined senior citizen, Vimla Devi, 92, came to vote with her sons and daughters-in-law in Dwarka area of west Delhi.
“It is important to vote. I have always exercised my democratic right,” said the frail looking woman. Declining to say who she had voted for, Vimla Devi said she has voted for a party that does not believe in “dividing people along communal lines”.
Such was the enthusiasm among the seniors, that some came despite not keeping well. Nihar Chand Solanki, 95, came to vote on a wheelchair. He said he was very excited about casting his vote.
“I am very excited to be able to vote,” said Sonlanki, wrapped in layers of warm clothes as he was not feeling well.
Solanki’s 65-year-old son Hari Om said his father was so excited about casting his vote that he did not allow him to have breakfast. “He is running slight fever, and has cough and cold; but he was insisting on voting. So we came along.”
Sheela Nanda, 74, who was in a hospital till Friday, also came to vote. “I was in a hospital till yesterday (Friday); My family members tried to stop me from going to vote, but I was determined to come,” she said, adding that she wished for a “strong government” be formed in Delhi.
In Gulmohar Park area, Manorama Dewan, in her 80s, came to vote with her daughter holding her arm for support. “I have never missed an election,” she said.

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