Centenarian Voters: Witnessing a Century of Democracy

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As India gears up for another round of democratic exercise, one segment of the electorate stands out for its remarkable endurance: centenarian voters. In Haryana alone, over 10,000 voters aged 100 or above are poised to cast their ballots, offering a unique perspective on the country’s democratic journey. Ashok Kumar delves into the experiences of three such women, shedding light on their memories of past elections and their plans for the upcoming one.

Kela Devi, a 101-year-old resident of Nuh, Haryana, embodies the resilience of centenarian voters. Despite her frail health, Devi has been a committed voter throughout her life. However, this year presents a challenge as she grapples with mobility issues and uncertainties surrounding the safety of postal voting.

Statistics from the Chief Electoral Officer of Haryana reveal a significant number of centenarian voters across the state, reflecting a diverse range of experiences and perspectives. From witnessing the tumultuous events of Partition to navigating the complexities of contemporary politics, these voters offer a wealth of insights into India’s evolving democracy.

Devi’s recollections span decades of political and social upheavals, from communal riots to landmark elections campaigns. Her sharp memory serves as a testament to the enduring impact of historical events on individual lives.

Similarly, Huri Devi, a 102-year-old resident of Nuh, remains an active participant in the electoral process. Despite her age, she maintains a daily routine that includes walking around her neighborhood and tending to household chores.

For Manni, a 101-year-old resident of Nuh, the upcoming election represents another opportunity to exercise her democratic right. Reflecting on a lifetime of civic engagement, Manni emphasizes the importance of voting as a means of expressing one’s voice and contributing to the democratic process.

As the Election Commission introduces measures to facilitate voting for elderly and disabled citizens, including postal ballots and special assistance at polling stations, centenarian voters continue to play an integral role in shaping India’s democratic future.

With their unwavering commitment to civic duty and their wealth of life experiences, centenarian voters serve as a living testament to the enduring spirit of democracy in India. As the nation prepares to head to the polls, their voices remind us of the importance of preserving and cherishing our democratic values for generations to come.

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