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Mumbai gets inked: It's a bittersweet story!

Last updated on: April 24, 2014 15:35 IST

Mumbai gets inked: It's a bittersweet story!

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Savera R Someshwar in Mumbai

They beat the heat and queued up to cast their ballot. A few returned home flaunting their fingers; a few others dejected not to find their names on the list.

Rediff.com’s Savera R Someshwar captures the spirit in Mumbai on voting day

It’s the first time that Tinaz Mistry has voted, and she has taken her responsibility very seriously.

“It’s very important to get people to vote,” says the 25-year-old. “Which is why we started Operation Black Dot.”

The organisation around colleges in Mumbai and helped first time voters fill in the required forms to get their voter’s id card.

“I’m really happy to see that so many people have come out to vote,” she says. “Whatever the reason -- whether they vote for their community or caste, for economic development or against inflation, at least they are voting!”

Special Coverage: Election 2014

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Image: 25-year-old Tinaz Mistry is part of Operation Black Dot, which encourages first-time voters to cast their ballot.
Photographs: Savera R Someshwar/Rediff.com

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Sushmita N Bansali is 85, but that has never stopped her from voting. “I’ve always voted for the same party, and I always will,” she smiles.

Her granddaughter, Dimple Kothari, has come all the way from Ghatkopar to cast her vote. “We should not hesitate to do our duty. We really need a good government that will keep the interest of the country at heart,” says the 30-year-old.

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Image: Dimple Kothari and her grandmother flaunt their fingers after voting
Photographs: Savera R Someshwar/Rediff.com

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Divesh Sharma, a visually impaired Art of Living practitioner, is happy to hear about the increased awareness about the importance of voting.

“It’s nice to see this change in the people,” he said soon after he cast his vote. “It’s our responsibility to vote the best party to power. It is our responsibility to do what is good for our country.”

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Image: A visually impaired Divesh Sharma outside the poll station after voting
Photographs: Savera R Someshwar/Rediff.com

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Seated under a leafy tree, the Congress, Sena and other party representatives are waiting to guide voters to their respective polling booths and to help solve any polling-related difficulties they may have.

Upendra Lokegaonkar, 34, a Shiv Sena supporter who is manning a desk, says the voter turnout is much stronger this year. “More people will come around 4 pm, when the heat eases,” he says, as he shoos away a group of BJP supporters who have gathered around to show their support.


Image: Upendra Lokegaonkar feels the voting percentage will go up after 4 pm in Mumbai
Photographs: Savera R Someshwar/Rediff.com

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Sushma and Aneri Parekh have just returned from voting for the party they have traditionally supported.

“This election is different,” says Sushma, 58. “People are eager to go and vote. There is more awareness.”

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Image: Sushma and Aneri Parekh
Photographs: Savera R Someshwar/Rediff.com

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Ajit Nafde, a bank official, has stopped by to shop for some fruits after casting his vote.

The 54-year-old, dressed in a white cotton kurta-pyjama to combat the Mumbai heat, says, “People are voting for stability this year. I am really impressed with the increased awareness.”

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Image: Vote for stability, says Ajit Nafde
Photographs: Savera R Someshwar/Rediff.com

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A disappointed 79-year-old Amrita L Majumdar had to turn back without getting her finger inked.

“Someone told me that if I come with my voter’s card and two passport sized photographs, I would be able to vote,” said the senior citizen who has been living in Santa Cruz (Mumbai North Central constituency) since 1964.

She was not aware that she should have checked her name on the voter’s list and said, “I have voted for decades now… Earlier, we didn’t have to do anything like this!”

Her nephew, Prakash, who is 57, is one of the lucky few in the family who has his name on the voter’s list. “Nine members of our family have not been able to vote this year because their name was not on the list. That is why I will be voting for change. I will be voting against this kind of inefficiency because I know every vote is important. It could be that all-important difference between a win and a loss.”


Image: Mumbaikars line up to cast their vote in Mahim
Photographs: Abhishek Mande Bhot/Rediff.com

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