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83-year-old cancer survivor among elderly voters in Patna

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 19, 2019  | 21:33 IST

By Kunal Dutt Patna, May 19 (PTI) Cancer-related ailment has left octogenarian Surendra Garai debilitated but not his spirit as he arrived at a booth here to cast his vote. Despite scorching heat, Garai, who retired as an executive engineer in 1995, came along with his 78-year-old wife and family to exercise the franchise. "He is an oral cancer survivor, and has had three surgeries since he was diagnosed with the disease on 2009. His tongue had to be removed in an operation done about six months ago," his daughter, Arunima Kumari said. But, he is always enthusiastic to vote and urged all the family members to join in, she said. Garai, wife Bindeshwari Devi, Arunima and her husband Sanjeev Kumar and another family member came together to vote at a booth in Kankarbagh area. "He still goes for morning walk every day supported with his walking stick and tries to keep fit even at 83. He is not able to speak but his spirit is very high, and for voting too, as he has practically participated in all elections," Arunima told PTI. She, however, complained that none of her family members, and herself were handed out voter slips, and "we faced some hassle at the booth". "We came in the afternoon, because we did not want to stand in a queue for searching our names. But, glad we were able to eventually vote," she said. Arunima said her husband, a businessman, who lives in Dehradun also came down to exercise his franchise. She, however, rued that many people in her apartment complex showed apathy towards voting and did not come out of their homes on the polling day. "My father, a cancer survivor and someone who has heart problems and underwent operation for cataract recently, still has the enthusiasm to vote but healthy ones sit at home on voting day and later crib," she said. Patna Sahib and Pataliputra, the two constituencies in Patna district went to polls on Sunday. Usha Sinha, 68, a retired school teacher, also came out to vote and said, "I make it a point to vote and so does my husband. I voted for jobs for the next generation, our youth." PTI KND RCJ

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