Himachal Pradesh 2017

Shyam Saran Negi and the ballot have an age-defying connection

Shyam Saran Negi  

In 1951, Shyam Saran Negi made history when he voted in Kalpa in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, becoming Independent India’s first voter.

Decades have passed, but the centenarian retired schoolteacher’s enthusiasm to vote remains undiminished.

“My father is preparing to vote on November 9 for the Assembly polls,” his youngest son, Chander Prakash, said.

Mr. Negi, who has never missed voting in any State or Lok Sabha election, will be under full media glare when he goes out to vote. Even the administration will roll out a red carpet when he walks into the polling booth this time.

When Mr. Negi first voted, the polls were held in Chini, the present-day Kalpa, before other parts of the State, anticipating heavy snowfall in the higher altitude areas.

He recalled how times had changed since, and said people should vote for leaders who will help develop the country.

Brand ambassador

Mr. Negi’s grandson Deepak Kumar says his grandfather is a role model for the younger generation, as he keeps exhorting them to vote and elect good leaders.

Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner Naresh Kumar Lath said arrangements for his travel had been made. “He will be honoured with a traditional Kinnauri cap, a shawl and mementoes,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 3:17:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/himachal-pradesh-2017/shyam-saran-negi-and-the-ballot-have-an-age-defying-connection/article19993319.ece

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