Valli villagers truly make their votes count

Valli villagers truly make their votes count

Valli villagers truly make their votes count

They have to take a 15-20 minute boat ride for every basic requirement, be it buying groceries or charging their cellphones as electricity is still a distant dream here.

However, the people of Valli, a village around 40 km from Anand, have set an example for their countrymen. Valli has registered 100 per cent voting since the last four elections, including the Assembly polls, confirmed local election officials of the state election department at Anand.

“The village is on an island and for daily work, we have to cross Kaneval lake,’’ said Vikram Solanki, an inhabitant of the village. Solanki, who is in his 30s, is a conscientious voter. “You have no right to complain if you do not exercise your franchise,” he added.

All villagers, be it elders, women or children, know how to swim. On voting day, eligible voters take turns in their boats and ensure they have done their bit. “All villagers have election cards,” said Solanki.

The villagers know there are no proposals for setting up a polling station in Valli. However, they remain steadfast in their commitment to voting. They also believe this has helped them garner the interest of tourists.

The villagers, who are primarily into farming, realise the importance of education. While their children go to schools in the nearest village, they are well aware of the fact that higher education is not possible as yet. They admit that they have been deprived of many facilities but it does not deter them from casting their votes.
Moreover, they want their children to follow in their footsteps. Crossing the lake is a mandatory task even if they have to get tractors or attend social functions. “We are now habituated to crossing the lake for our very basic needs,’’ said another resident, Pravin Solanki.

The oldest voter of this village is 70-year-old Magan Solanki, and his is the fourth generation of inhabitants. While hardships continue to be a part of their life, these villagers are determined to make their vote count for the country every single time.