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Mumbai Elections: For the first time in 18 years, this 57-yr-old couldn't vote

Under treatment for pneumonia at KEM Hospital, 57-yr-old Anita Manjrekar was keen on casting her vote, but decided against it when doctors told her she would have to take a discharge from the ICU if she wanted to make the trip

For the past 18 years, 57-year-old Anita Manjrekar has religiously cast her vote in every election. But her health failed her this year. A few weeks ago, the Parel resident contracted pneumonia and had to be admitted to the ICU of KEM hospital.

Manjrekar, who works with the women’s wing of Shiv Sena, was admitted to the ICU of the civic-run hospital in Parel on April 13, after she was diagnosed with pneumonia and low blood pressure. Pic/Satyajit Desai
Manjrekar, who works with the women’s wing of Shiv Sena, was admitted to the ICU of the civic-run hospital in Parel on April 13, after she was diagnosed with pneumonia and low blood pressure. Pic/Satyajit Desai

Not ready to let the bout of illness come between her and the ballot box, Manjrekar spoke to doctors at the hospital once her condition stabilised, asking them if she could make a trip to the polling booth from the hospital. But their advice put the woman in a quandary.

“I was told that if I wanted to leave the hospital to vote, I would have to take a discharge. But I did not feel that my body was ready for that,” said Anita, explaining that she feared a relapse. “I’m still on IV drip and unable to eat solids.”

Manjrekar, who works with the women’s wing of Shiv Sena, was admitted to the ICU of the civic-run hospital in Parel on April 13, after she was diagnosed with pneumonia and low blood pressure. Manjrekar said that while undergoing treatment at the hospital, she was anxious to recover, just so that she could vote.

“I didn’t want my vote to go to waste, and was determined to make it to the poll booth, even if I had to make the trip in my ambulance. But I can’t risk my health completely by getting a discharge,” she said.

Manjrekar was shifted to the general ward of the hospital three days ago. The dean of KEM Hospital, Dr Shubhangi Parkar, remained unavailable for comment.

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