Madurai

The power of senior voters

The elderly are not just older. They are wiser and more experienced. Driven by a strong sense of civic duty, they turn out in large numbers to show their ballot power every election and this year is no different in Madurai. They have the choice to cast postal votes. But a cross section of them are determined to go to the polling booths on April 6 as they have already taken their COVID-19 vaccination.

Dr. Sam C. Bose (93), plastic & reconstructive surgeon: “I have not missed a single election since 1951 – 17 Parliamentary and 15 State Assembly elections. Throughout lockdown when the majority worked from home, I went to Government Rajaji Hospital every Saturday for interactive teaching sessions with PG students. I am not scared as long as precautions against COVID are in place and I have taken my two shots of the vaccine. I like to vote in person.”

Dr. P. Namperumalsamy and Dr. G. Nachiar (82), founding members of Aravind Eye Care Systems: “People should understand the importance of our freedom struggle that has given us this privilege. Irrespective of the political scenario and notwithstanding the raging public health issue, we should not squander the opportunity to vote because as citizens we are responsible for the government we choose.”- Dr. Namperumalsamy

“A few times I had been away on work on the polling dates. Otherwise, I ensure that I and my husband reach the polling booth in the first hour to avoid crowd. Officials came to our house with the consent form for postal vote this time. But we love the experience of going to the booth.” – Dr. Nachiar

Lalji Vora (79), businessman: “We should honour our right to vote as citizens. I have voted in every Lok Sabha and Assembly election since 1962. Last July I tested positive for COVID-19, but that does not deter me from voting. I have taken the first dose of vaccine.”

M. Salim (84), businessman: “I don’t remember how many elections I have voted in. I am usually the first voter at the booth. I reach by 7 a.m. when it is free of people and there is a buzz among the polling agents eager to help you. The EVMs are a convenient device for the aged.”

S. Mohan Gandhi (88), retired Joint Commissioner (I-T): “I have not missed a single election since 1955. This time I am debating because my medico daughter-in-law is very strict. The only time I went out in the last one year was to take my first vaccine shot a fortnight ago. I may opt for postal vote but I like going to the booth. I go leisurely around noon and if there is a crowd, by virtue of my age I am let in first.”

Nan Narayenen (86), soft skills trainer: “I lost my wife last year and this is the first time since 1955 that I will go alone to vote. I like to go to the booth and will take along my granddaughters, who are first-time voters. We cannot sit at home fearing the virus. I go early to the booth to avoid rush.”


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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 8:05:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/the-power-of-senior-voters-madurai/article34185826.ece

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