First-timers travel far to get their thumbs inked

They are motivated by awareness created by social networks

First-timers travel far to get their thumbs inked

Varsha Hosmath, 23, a software professional in a private firm in the City and a first-time voter, was determined to exercise her franchise. 

It was this determination that saw her board a packed bus to Bailhongal in Belgaum district. Having achieved her purpose, a happy Varsha, effusively said she was truly satisfied.

Likewise, Abhilasha Javali, too, travelled overnight to Gadag to cast her vote. As to whether her voting would see the desired changes, she quipped “voting does not guarantee one’s preferences will prevail. But not voting denies one having a say in democracy. Elected representatives respond to people who vote. I want my voice to be heard.”

Like Varshas or Abhilashas, several first-time voters either travelled to their hometowns or Bangalore to cast their ballot. Asked what motivated them to do so, Rajesh Battad, who left for Dharwad, attributes it to awareness created by social networks.

“A short film on Google on how independent India’s first voter beat the odds of chilling winters to come out to vote, inspired me. Moreover I don’t want to nag for next five years on dwindling forests, China’s intrusion or unemployment,” he said. The father-son duo Pampakavi Belagali and Mukund Belagali, who were away for the funeral of a close relative, on Wednesday returned to the City to vote.

H A Jagadish, an office assistant with a builder in Pune, spent Rs 1,000 travelling from Pune to Bangalore to vote. “Voting is my right. I don’t mind spending on travelling to vote,” he added.

Mohan Kumar, an IT professional working in Chennai, travelled to his ancestral village in Chamarajanagar. “It feels nice that you are able to contribute in small way for the nation,” he mused.

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