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India General Elections 2024: Distance doesn’t deter overseas voters

Updated on: 21 May,2024 07:13 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dipti Singh |

Many overseas voters registered in Mumbai endured long journeys to cast their vote

India General Elections 2024: Distance doesn’t deter overseas voters

Amit Shah travelled from Dubai; Krunal Trivedi flew in from Toronto; Sahil Tapiawala flew in from San Francisco

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India General Elections 2024: Distance doesn’t deter overseas voters

Distance is said to make one’s heart grow fonder and this sentiment resonates deeply with Indian's living abroad, as they pursue careers and education in foreign lands. This emotional connection is especially palpable when significant events unfold back home. This time around it is the Lok Sabha elections, the grandest festival of democracy, drawing the attention and participation of its overseas citizens.

As per the data shared by collector offices, city and suburban, there are 373 registered overseas voters from Mumbai city jurisdiction, while 1,760 registered overseas voters from Mumbai suburban region. In the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 20, mid-day spoke to Indians living abroad who have covered long distances to Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) just to cast their votes.

Krunal Trivedi, a 44-year-old director of Vocation and Outreach at Beta College of Business and Technology, Toronto, emphasises the significance of voting as he makes a lengthy journey from Toronto to Mumbai just to cast his ballot. “For me, voting is a crucial part of democracy, and everyone should exercise their right and cast their vote. If you want the country to move in the right direction to progress and develop, it is essential,” said Trivedi.

Having travelled 17 hours and 30 minutes to reach Mumbai on the morning of May 18, he insists, “I lose the right to criticize the government or leaders if I do not vote. Not just our right, it is our responsibility to vote,” said Trivedi who cast his vote at a polling station at JBCN International School.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections too he flew in from Dubai to vote. Trivedi’s commitment underscores the profound impact of individual participation in shaping the future of the nation. Trivedi  will be returning to Canada on May 27, where he has been residing since 2020.

Based in Singapore, Sahil Tapiawala, 30, a resident of Kanjurmarg travelled 26 hours from San Francisco to Mumbai to cast his vote. He went to the IES School, Dattar Colony in Kanjurmarg on Monday morning to cast his vote., “I have come here all the way to partake in the world's biggest festival of democracy. I travelled to Mumbai from the other side of the world to exercise my right to vote,” he said. Tapiawala was temporarily in San Francisco for his work project, he will be in Mumbai for a few days before flying back to Singapore.

For 46-year-old Amit Shashikant Shah, an investment consultant, his admiration for the PM prompted him to travel all the way from Dubai to Mumbai to vote for the first time. Shah has been living in Dubai for the past 23 years. “This is the first time I’ve come back to vote. I'm inspired by the way our country is developing. This is also my way of supporting PM Modi. I could not keep myself from voting. This year, I decided I will participate in this largest festival of democracy. Though I am living abroad, I want to be part of my country’s development. Voting is the first step, I feel.”

Shah said everything turned out to be very special on Monday. “Not only was this my first time voting and the journey from Dubai, my polling station was also my alma mater, JJ School in Fort. Overall, I felt very happy, not just voting but also getting to visit my school.”

No of overseas voters in Mumbai city and suburban districts

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