Homeless cast their vote, feel part of city

Thirty-two-year-old Sumit lives at a night shelter and on Thursday, he felt for the first time, as a part of the city when he exercised his franchise.

“I got a new identity today,” he said after casting vote at a primary school on Hanuman Road.

“Being able to vote is a matter of pride for people like us. Now we think we also have a say in the democratic set up.”

Similar views were echoed by 21-year-old Bala.
“Many of us have got our voter identity card this time. Now, we can also voice our concerns,” said Bala, who voted at Government Senior Secondary School for Girls in Kashmere Gate.

“There should also be a provision in the law which punishes those politicians who don’t live up to their promises,” added Bala, who lives at a night shelter at Shadi Ganj in Kashmere Gate.

Sixty-two-year-old Daya Ram felt lucky to have got voter identity card.
“After many years of struggle I have got voter identity card. How could I miss this opportunity to vote,” said Ram, who has been living in Delhi for over 10 years.
“We are voting so that we can open the eyes of the authorities and make them see the issues related to the homeless,” he added.

Another destitute, Raju, said that people will now take the destitutes seriously as they also have the power to change the government.

“We have been always forgotten. But politicians won’t
be able to ignore us now as we also constitute vote bank,” he said.

“Parties are forced to listen to us,” added the 31-year-old.

According to Delhi Electoral Office, around 8,000 homeless have been enrolled in the electoral rolls for the Lok Sabha polls in Delhi.

The maximum number of destitutes – 2,863 – have been registered from central Delhi while the least number – 80 – have been registered from west Delhi.

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