Beggar uses his right to choose

About 35 per cent of voters chose to stay home on election day, but a homeless and disabled beggar decided to exercise his franchise in the New Delhi constituency.

Sunil uses a wheeled sled and begs in the premises of Hanuman temple in Connaught Place. Sunil said he recently got his name registered in the electoral rolls.

“God knows if the person whom I voted for would work for us,” he said. He voted in the afternoon  at a nearby polling station.

Sunil is the only one in his family to have his name enrolled in the voters’ list. “I don’t have a voter ID card, but somebody helped with the voter slip,” he said.

Sunil is the sole breadwinner for his family of four, which lives in a shanty in a corner of the temple premises. He showed the photocopy of his voters slip that he had kept carefully.

He said that he did not opt for the wheelchair that was available at the polling station. “My brother lifted me up so that I could press the button on the machine,” he said.

His widowed sister Pooja Sharma who lives with him said that she had also applied for the Voter ID card, but her form was rejected because of the lack of a residence proof.

According to Pooja, many homeless people in her neighbourhood are disenfranchised. “My brother is lucky. I hope that the government does something for him,” she said.

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