Mangaluru, April 19, 2019: Voters celebrated the Lok Sabha elections in the right earnest across Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency. Many flew home from abroad and some injured persons and senior citizens made it a point to cast their vote on Thursday.
For 90-year-old Damodar Nayak Kallianapur, neither a critical head surgery last week nor the loss of his wife Shantha Nayak, 79, on Wednesday was a deterrent to perform his duty.
Mr. Kallianpur not only exercised his franchise at a booth in Gandhinagar, but also ensured members of his family and relatives, who had come to attend the last rites of his wife, went to their respective booths to cast votes.
On the other hand, autorickshaw driver Ashok Prabhu at Ganjimutt in Mangaluru North Assembly constituency ferried over 10 elderly women, including a 102 year-old, to the polling booth in his vehicle.
He also carried those who cannot walk inside the booth to facilitate their voting.
Though he is nearly 50, Vivek Shetty of Padubidri [under Udupi-Chikkamagaluru LS constituency], had not exercised franchise so far as he was working in Kuwait.
“This time, I decided to enroll my name and flew from Kuwait to vote,” Mr. Shetty told The Hindu . There were nearly 30 NRIs in his flight who came specifically for voting, he added.
B.C. Road resident Rajaram Bhat, working in Kolkata, said it was his mother who had imbibed in him the duty to exercise franchise. “I used to come home to vote wherever i worked,” he said.
Srikara Kowdambadi, native of Kodange and working in the U.S., said Indian democracy has enhanced confidence among NRIs, many of whom have made it a point to come home and vote. This time, he along with his friends, came home adjusting other family programmes, to cast vote, he said.
There were hundreds of people, settled in different parts of the country as well as abroad, who came home specifically to exercise their franchise in Dakshina Kannada.