14km trek, old age no hurdle for these voters | Gujarat Election News

AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: A Bhil tribal man will trek 7km on narrow craggy trails to reach the polling booth and vote on Monday in the second round of Gujarat elections. Losing both his hands in an accident hasn’t stopped a painter in Ahmedabad from voting. The 64-year-old will vote again Monday. As will a freedom fighter who turns 100 next year.
When it comes to voting, they don’t offer excuses to stay home.
Bamaniya Bhil from Ganiyabari in Chhota Udepur district has faith in his trusty legs to carry him through the woody terrain to Wadia, where a polling booth serves a large area of more than 200 voters of villages deep inside an untouched hinterland.
“It will be a 14km walk to and from the booth. It will take us hours,” he said. Still, he and his family will vote to be able to be confident about what tomorrow will look like. Dadu Bhil, a resident of Khenda, will walk too. “We face a lot of hardship travelling, but still vote. We believe in democracy.”
In the bustling neighbourhood of Akbarnagar in Ahmedabad, Manji Ramani, 64, has ticked his schedule for Monday. It just says VOTE. “I lost my hands in an accident when I was nine. But I have voted in all the polls since 1980. One should vote,” said Ramani, who paints with his mouth.
Fellow city resident of Navarangpura Ishwarlal Dave, who turns 100 early next year, fought for the country’s freedom and has “never missed an opportunity to vote” since Independence.

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