In Gujarat village, 94-member family shows voting counts to nation

In Gujarat village, 94-member family shows voting counts to nation

If election is the largest festival of Indian democracy, this is one family which genuinely believes in it. The 94-member family belonging to the Rozghat village, in Narmada district of South Gujarat has one of the senior-most members in the country — 119-year old Kathudiadada Vasava who leads the family from the front.

They travel by bus to the nearest polling booth and the whole family gets down to vote. No wonder then that even the district collectorate has made him the brand ambassador with photos of Vasava on the billboards of the district to encourage voting especially amongst youngsters.

Vasava, has never failed to exercise his right of franchise in any election held in the country since Independence. Probably, the oldest voter in Gujarat, Kathudiadada’s fifth generation was born to him on March 20 this year.

He is head of the family which stays in five houses at Rozghat village. Kathudiadada has voted in the 2012 Assembly elections along with 54 members of his family. This time five new voters ha­ve been added to the family’s voting list. Officials of the district collectorate said that the whole family comes to vote at the nearest polling bo­oth by a bus and to ensure comfortable voting especially for the senior citizen, arrangements of travel are taken care by the district collectorate.

Kathudiadada who is hardly able to see says, “This is the first thing that every citizen should do, leave all their work aside and go to vote on the day of the voting.’’

He said it comes only once in five years and people should not shrug off their responsibility. For his family he has been an inspiration for generations.

Kathudiadada may not see clearly, but his hearing ability is still good and he recollects how he had gone to listen to speeches by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as a youth. “I have not missed voting in any election since Independence. I still remember going to Haripura village in the district with others in 51 bullock carts to hear Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose,”’ he added.

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