It was the D-day on Wednesday, and the nomadic ‘Gangireddulolla’ families had returned home from the far away places to where they have gone for livelihood across Telangana.
Nearly 200 voters in the 70 families belonging to this alms-seeking community from Uppulamadugu village in Raikal mandal of Karimnagar district, are among one of the die-hard voter segments in the country.
“We don’t miss even one election, no matter how far we are from home. All of us return on the polling day to exercise our franchise,” says Yelmala Gangaram, an elder from the community, who is now staying at Asifabad.
Some eight families having 20 voters are now camping in makeshift tents near Gundi road in Asifabad, the headquarter of Asifabad (ST) Assembly seat in Adilabad district.
While the men of the community weave ‘navar’ on cots, the women seek alms mainly in the form of rice and grains.
“We spend around Rs.1,000 on bus fares to reach our homes. The period during elections is especially expensive for us as we came home for MTPC and ZPTC elections also,” says Pendala Chinna Bheemaiah while preparing to set out for the bus stand.
“We cannot afford to avoid such expense as we will be considered dead, if we do not exercise our franchise,” said Mutcherla Ankus, a young voter in the family. “No there is no scope for us to vote under the influence of inducements as we are mostly away from home,” he adds.