115-Year-Old Visually Impaired Man Walks 5 km to Vote, Aims to Combat Youth Unemployment

Nadeem Shah
4 Min Read
Kashmiri Shiite Muslims hold photographs as they shout slogans and express grief over the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and several other Iranian officials killed in helicopter crash during a solidarity march on the outskirts of Srinagar,ÊMayÊ24,Ê2024. Photo: Abid Bhat

In a remarkable display of civic duty and determination, Kaka Tenda, a 115-year-old visually impaired resident of Manzmoo Dooru in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, walks approximately five kilometers to cast his vote on Saturday. Despite his physical challenges, Tenda’s dedication to participating in the democratic process underscores the significance of the issues at stake for his community.

Tenda emphasized his desire to elect a representative who genuinely understands and advocates for the needs of his people.

“I came to vote after walking for around five kilometers on foot so that we can send the right candidate to the parliament who can truly raise the voice for our people,

Tenda stated.

One of the most pressing concerns for Tenda and his community is the high rate of unemployment among the youth. Despite many young individuals attaining high levels of education, job opportunities remain scarce. “Even in the upper areas, youth are well qualified, but the rising unemployment rate has made the lives of young people very difficult. There is a need to address this issue immediately,”

Tenda explained.

In addition to unemployment, Tenda highlighted other economic struggles, including inflation and rising electricity tariffs. These issues have compounded the hardships faced by residents of Jammu and Kashmir, making daily life increasingly burdensome. “People of J&K have been facing problems due to inflation and rising electricity tariffs. I have voted so that the winner can raise the voice and help in lowering the electricity bills,”

he said.

Tenda believes that selecting the right candidate can lead to significant improvements in addressing these challenges. “I believe that if people choose the right candidate, their issues can be resolved to a great extent,”

he asserted.

This surge in voter participation can be attributed to several factors, including heightened awareness of the importance of civic engagement, effective voter mobilization campaigns, and the pressing socio-economic issues that compel citizens to make their voices heard through the ballot box. The high turnout signifies a collective desire among Kashmiris to influence positive change and address local issues more effectively.

Tenda’s determination to vote, despite his age and physical impairments, serves as an inspiration to many. His actions highlight the importance of civic engagement and the power of individual votes in driving societal change. As communities across the region continue to face economic and social challenges, the voice of every voter, including those like Kaka Tenda, becomes crucial in shaping a future that addresses their needs and aspirations.

The supercentenarian’s story resonates as a powerful testament to the enduring spirit of democracy and the collective effort required to bring about positive change. His journey to the polling station is a poignant reminder of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship, encouraging others to take an active role in shaping their community’s future.

Kaka Tenda’s participation in the recent elections, amidst high voter turnout, underscores the critical role of every citizen in a democracy. It highlights the community’s commitment to addressing pressing issues such as unemployment, inflation, and rising electricity costs, through active civic engagement.

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