Senior citizens turn nostalgic about old times

G Nanjappa

When G Nanjappa cast his first vote, he wrote the candidate's number on a paper and dropped it in a box. Today, the 89-year-old's constituency has a VVPAT.

DH spoke to senior citizens to draw a comparison between their first election and now.

"I have lived here since I was five and have come to the same booth ever since," Nanjappa told DH.

Now, it is the third generation of voters in his family. "I have not missed an election. I encourage youngsters to vote. All they need is an identity proof," he added.

A retired transport inspector, Nanjappa recollects booth 49, where he voted on Thursday, as a place that wasn't easily accessible. "As I was the inspector, I requested at least one bus," he remembered.

Over the years, the process has become easier, felt Nanjappa. "Even candidates are better now," he said. Nanjappa's wife who is 83, was accompanied by her grandson.

Lakshmamma (67) and her two daughters cast votes at Govindarajnagar in Bengaluru South.

"I first voted when Indira Gandhi first came to power. Back then, I was given Rs 300. In fact, we weren't aware who sent the money. Now, the situation is different," she recollected. Today, Lakshmamma lives on a meagre Rs 1,000 pension.

A few senior citizens believe nothing changed over the years and promises by candidates remain on paper. 76-year-old Lakshmi Bai believes otherwise.

Over the years, candidates have turned more responsible and work better, she thinks. 

Jayakakshmi recalls when campaigns involved megaphones, roadshows and groups knocking on doors seeking votes.

Senior citizens believe the focus has now shifted to social media and smartphones. Campaigns on Facebook, WhatsApp and such, overpower real-time campaigning, they say.

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