Kerala

At 113, she votes for a spirited life

Velumbi has no ailments and is quite active for her age.  

The deep ridges running through the face stand testimony to her grand old age. Perhaps the oldest person in the State to cast her vote at a polling station, 113-year-old Velumbi is very strong-willed when it comes to exercising her franchise. A resident of rural Piravathur, in the Pathanapuram constituency, she made no exception on April 6 also and says she cannot remember a time when she skipped the trip. “I cast my vote in the last Lok Sabha election and the recent local body polls too,” she says.

According to her voter’s ID and other records, Velumbi is 113 and though she was given the option as a senior citizen to vote at home, she turned it down. She insisted on voting on the polling day and cast her vote without any assistance at Piravathur Government UP School.

Clear choice

Ask her about her political preference, and prompt comes the answer, ‘communists.’ “She will vote only for the Left,” adds her great-granddaughter Akhila.

Velumbi had four children, but she outlived them all and even saw the death of her two grandchildren. Now she lives with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has no ailments and is quite active for her age. “Earlier, she used to collect firewood from the forest, but now we do not let her do chores. She makes brooms as she hates to sit idle,” says Akhila.

Sole indulgence

Velumbi makes regular trips to the nearby paddy fields to fetch coconut fronds and then sits to scrap the stalk. Earlier, she used to sell her brooms for ₹10, but recently the price was hiked to ₹20. With the money, she buys ‘paan’ from the nearby shop, her only indulgence, according to her family. “She does not eat any food that is not home-cooked, not even tea. Also, she used to regularly prepare ‘karkidaka kanji’ with all those herbs and that may be one reason for her health,” adds Akhila.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 5:49:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/at-113-she-votes-for-a-spirited-life/article34290102.ece

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