Chandigarh: For 50 years, Barwala couple casting vote in hope of development

Jagpreet Singh Sandhu
The elderly couple from Barwala at polling station. (Express Photo by Jagpreet Singh)

Come rain or thunderstorm, for over 50 years, a Barwala couple has been casting their vote in the hope to bring development in their area by exercising their power. The couple, Ram Rattan (78), and his wife Hira Devi (76), has been casting vote since 1960.

“For years, me and my wife have been casting vote. Even if there was heavy rain or thunderstorm on the polling day, it did not stop us, and we are proud that we have maintained our record,” said Ram Rattan.

Recalling the previous years, Ram Rattan said, “For many years, earlier, I used to ride my bicycle to the polling booth, with my wife as the pillion rider, but now, since my wife is unable to sit on the bicycle, we came in an auto rickshaw. There is support from various political activists too, who provide vehicles for us to reach the polling booths.”

Emphasising on the importance of vote, he said, “I think, everyone should exercise the power to vote. I never wanted to waste even a single vote of mine, as it can help my area develop. It does not matter whether the person one votes for, wins or loses, one should vote as it is vital for the democracy.”

Hira Devi, who was seated on wheelchair, said, “Before marriage I had no interest in elections or voting, but I have been voting over these years because of my husband’s persuasion.”

Voting started at 8 am in Barwala, where 6,297 voters were registered to cast their votes at six polling booths. The voting went on till 6 pm.

Apart from Ram Rattan and Hira Devi, another elderly couple of Panckula, Yashpal Madan (84) and Vishawa Mohini Madan (80), residents of Sector 4, were at the polling booth at St Soldier School in Sector 16 to cast their votes.

Yashpal Madan said, “I have been voting since the past five decades. I am a retired engineer of the Irrigation department and even when I was away due to my duty, I used to take special leave to come back to the city at the time of polls to caste my vote.”