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In their 80s, Pune senior citizens ready to ‘vote for change’

“How can we get good people to carry out development works if we don’t vote?” asked Joshi. His wife, who had had a cataract operation few months ago, echoes the sentiments.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
February 21, 2017 5:53:28 am
Express Express

Just two months after a knee replacement surgery, 85-year-old Pandurang Joshi from Sahkarnagar is all set to walk out and exercise his franchise. Joshi and his wife Sudha are among several senior citizens in the 80-plus group to ‘vote for a change’ on February 21.

“How can we get good people to carry out development works if we don’t vote?” asked Joshi. His wife, who had had a cataract operation few months ago, echoes the sentiments.

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The duo will be taken to the polling booth by their granddaughter. Prabhavati Khatavkar, 80, however said she does not need assistance and can go on her own to the polling booth. “Of course we vote together, as a family,” said Khatavkar, who hails from Ward Number 13, Karvenagar. “I have not missed a single election and even encourage my friends to come and vote,” she added.

Her day begins at 5.30 am, when she joins her friends at the laughter club. She carries a stick, but only to ward of stray dogs. “Whosoever I vote for, they will have to rid this area of this (dog) menace,” she said. For 84-year-old Kunda Pande from Sahkarnagar, there is great enthusiasm among senior citizens here to cast their votes. “The common point of discussion has been to elect a good candidate, who can take on the development works — be it good roads or adequate supply of drinking water. It is our right to vote and we must elect a good candidate,” said Pande.

In her early 70s, Vimal Mane from Wanowrie too, is insistent that residents must not lose this opportunity. “My son has gone to Thane to bring one of the labourers, engaged in the repair work of our old house there, to Pune to cast his vote. We understand the importance of voting and it is not fair to criticise, when we do not take the time to go and cast our votes,” she said.

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