Kochi

Sarah Cohen, oldest Jew in city, casts her vote

Sarah Cohen, the oldest member of Mattancherry’s thinning Jewish community, after casting her vote on Tuesday.

Sarah Cohen, the oldest member of Mattancherry’s thinning Jewish community, after casting her vote on Tuesday.  

Hardly 15 minutes were left for the polling to wrap up when 96-year-old Sarah Cohen, the oldest member of Mattancherry’s thinning Jewish community, arrived at the Aasia Bai Higher Secondary School at Mattancherry in an autorickshaw on Tuesday evening.

Notwithstanding the last-minute rush for voting, those waiting in the queue and polling officials straight away allowed her in, and she cast her vote with minimum fuss.

“I had discouraged her from voting considering her age. But she would have none of it,” said Thaha Ibrahim, her caretaker who accompanied her to the polling booth.

Ms. Cohen has an impressive history when it comes to participating in the democratic exercise.

Mr. Ibrahim recollects that in his 36 years of association with Ms. Cohen, Sarah aunty to him, she had never missed an election except the last Parliament elections as it fell on a Saturday — observed by the Jews as Sabbath day, meant for rest and recuperation.

Though she was among the last to cast her vote, Ms. Cohen’s name appears first in the voter’s list in her booth.

Mr. Ibrahim said that she was all set for the short trip to the booth by around 4 p.m. but was delayed as a low-floored autorickshaw ensuring her easy access was hard to get. She insisted on not taking transportation facility provided by political parties and chose to hire an autorickshaw. She was accompanied to the booth by Mr. Ibrahim, his wife Jasmine, Seli, who cooks for Ms. Cohen, and her grandchild Milton.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 12:45:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/sarah-cohen-oldest-jew-in-city-casts-her-vote/article26926099.ece

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