“I can never forget this moment of having come to vote with a big belly and handful of colourful glass bangles”

The rich and poor, men and women, aged and young, all queued up alike in long lines at polling stations on Wednesday to cast their votes in the Assembly elections.

Of all, a few stood apart and one among them was D. Shanmugavadivu, who walked down to a polling station, situated about a kilometre from her house, carrying an eight-month-old foetus in her womb. Wedded to a mason based at Karumbalai near K.K. Nagar here, the woman, pregnant with good thoughts as well, made it a point to exercise her franchise despite the advanced stage of her pregnancy.

“I hail from Manapparai in Tiruchi district and got married only last year. Yet, my husband managed to register my name in the electoral rolls here and this is the first time I am voting in Madurai,” she said. The woman was elated over having exercised her democratic right at this point of time.

Unforgettable

“I can never forget this moment of having come to vote with a big belly and handful of colourful glass bangles. It will take a month for announcing the results of this election and I hope that I would also deliver the baby some time around that time. It's so exciting,” she added with a blush. Akin to Ms. Shanmugavadivu, many other women considered voting a sacred duty.

Muslim women clad in black ‘burkha' (gown) too were seen participating in the democratic process with much enthusiasm. S. Angammal, a 75-year-old pedlar who took time to vote amidst her daily chores, said: “Voting is very important, otherwise there won't be any value.”

Some voters made it a point to take their kids too along with them to the polling booths to give a glimpse of one of the most important exercises in a democratic country governed by the Constitution, a supreme document from which the citizens derive every other right including the right to talk, walk, work, pray and play.