February 22, 2017 1:46:50 am
Unlike many octogenarians and nonagenarians, who are often photographed on their way to polling booths, carried by family members, 103-year-old Indukrishna Nalavade walked up to the polling booth on Tuesday, without any assistance, to cast her vote. “Nobody forced me to come here, it was my decision. For many decades, I have never missed voting during an election. In fact, irrespective of age, every adult should step out and vote. ‘Aamhi naahi karnaar tari kon karnaar’ (If we will not do it, who will do it),” says Nalavade, who will turn 104 in November. Nalavade, a resident of Bibwewadi Ward, says that while she usually votes in the morning, this year, she didn’t have the time to do so, and went to cast her vote at 4.30 pm.
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For the last seven decades, she has been running a small flower and prasad stall outside the Kasba Ganpati Temple in Kasba Peth. “Today, I decided to visit the stall in the morning. After 3.30 pm, I asked my grandson-in-law to take care of the stall so that I could go vote. My great-granddaughter also accompanied me,” says Nalavade.
Nalavade’s husband, who worked in Mumbai as a worker in a godown, died in the early 1940s, leaving behind a widow with two daughters. “I had to bring up my daughters. In the beginning, I used to run a vegetable stall. But after 3-4 years, I started a flower shop outside the temple. Due to the blessings of Ganpati Bappa, the shop started doing well and it helped me raise my daughters,” says Nalavade, who travels from Bibwewadi to Kasba Peth every day by bus to run her stall that offers puja-related items like flower garlands, incense sticks, camphor, betel leaves and prasad, among others.
Both of Nalavade’s daughters passed away a few years ago; she stays with her granddaughter, Kadam and her great-grandchildren.
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