Lok Sabha Election 2019

Elderly, first-timers, PwDs join celebs to cast their vote

In Mumbai North Central constituency, volunteers from Bharat Scouts and Guides help senior citizens walk from their vehicles to polling booths

Senior citizens, first-time voters, and persons with disabilities (PwDs) exercised their franchise along with celebrities in Mumbai North Central constituency on Monday.

The mood outside Vile Parle’s Jamnabai Narsee School was celebratory as elite residents of Juhu — Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Arjun Kapoor and Sonali Bendre — arrived to vote at the VIP polling booth.

Right choice: (From left) First-time voters Dilshad, Rahat and Nishat Fatima show their inked fingers at Chiragnagar in Ghatkopar; Sachin Tendulkar along with his wife Anjali and children Sara and Arjun pose at Chimbai Pali Muncipal School in Bandra; Mumbai North Central Congress candidate Priya Dutt and husband Owen Roncon click a selfie in Bandra (West).

Right choice: (From left) First-time voters Dilshad, Rahat and Nishat Fatima show their inked fingers at Chiragnagar in Ghatkopar; Sachin Tendulkar along with his wife Anjali and children Sara and Arjun pose at Chimbai Pali Muncipal School in Bandra; Mumbai North Central Congress candidate Priya Dutt and husband Owen Roncon click a selfie in Bandra (West).   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

Hemlata Lathia (87) was among many senior citizens who reached the booth with the help of a walking stick and a relative to hold onto. She said, “I have voted in every single election since I remember.” Riya Shah (19), a first-time voter from Juhu, said, “I turned 18 last year and was excited to vote. My family ensured that I had all that is necessary to vote. I did not have to wait too long in the queue. I have come with two of my other friends who are yet to vote.” She said her friend Kinnari Shah (18) could not find her name on the electoral roll.

Mumbai 29/04/2019: Sachin Tendulkar along with his family pose for a picture after casting their vote inside Chimbai Pali Muncipal School in Bandra. Photo: Emmanual Yogini

Mumbai 29/04/2019: Sachin Tendulkar along with his family pose for a picture after casting their vote inside Chimbai Pali Muncipal School in Bandra. Photo: Emmanual Yogini   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

Saanchi Jain (23), another first-time voter, said, “The one issue I want this government and my MP to focus on is education. The state of the Mumbai University is quite poor. There is so much that should be done to improve the quality of education here.” Rishabh Singh (23), a first-time voter and resident of Turner Road, said, “While deciding on whom to vote for, I kept national issues in mind. For me, it is important that the country is taking strong steps to boost national security.”

Lending helping hand

Volunteers from Bharat Scouts and Guides helped the elderly and PwDs walk from their vehicles to the polling booth and back. The students reported for duty at 7 a.m. and carried tiffin boxes and water bottles. They said they intended to stay till the end of polling.

Elderly, first-timers, PwDs join celebs to cast their vote

Yashas Mayekar, a Class X student of St. Xavier’s School, was volunteering along with six schoolmates. He said, “We have been helping many people since morning. We held their hands to support them while walking. We also used wheelchairs to help them reach the booth. Thankfully, they are given direct access and not made to wait.” Ramesh Shah, 55, a visually-impaired voter who came to cast his vote at BPM School in Khar, said, “I vote in every election, unless I am in my home town. My relatives accompany me and there is never any problem as I am not made to wait. Even today, I was given priority.” At the school, an EVM’s display stopped working before polling began. Technicians replaced its control unit and then it started functioning smoothly.

In another machine, the batteries had to be replaced. An election official said, “The glitch developed before polling began and we rectified the issue immediately. Polling went off smoothly throughout the day.”

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 7:18:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/elderly-first-timers-pwds-join-celebs-to-cast-their-vote/article26986222.ece

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