Press Trust of India

LS Polls 2024: Three mute sisters of India’s ‘silent village’ eager to vote for first time

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Gandoh (J-K): Three mute sisters of Dadhkai village, also known as ‘silent village’ of India and situated in Gandoh area of Doda district, are eagerly waiting to cast their votes for the first time besides inspiring the other villagers to vote.

Doda is part of the Udhampur parliamentary constituency which is going to polls in the first phase on Friday (April 19) to decide the fate of 12 candidates including Union minister Jitendra Singh of the BJP, former MP Choudhary Lal Singh of the Congress and former minister G M Saroori of the DPAP.

The hilltop tribal village, 105 km from Bhaderwah town, is home to 105 families. Of these, 55 families mysteriously have at least one person who can neither speak nor listen. There are 84 such people in the village, of which 43 are women and 14 children below 10 years.

Despite having hearing and speaking disabilities, the three siblings — aged between 20 and 24 — are upbeat about participating in the polling after their names were included in the electoral rolls.

Reshma Bano (24), Parveen Kousar (22) and Saira Khatoon (20) — daughters of Reham Ali of Dadhkai B Panchayat — have become a source of inspiration for their neighbours and relatives, given their enthusiasm to cast their ballot for the first time in their lives.

Ali, 62, said the girls are so excited that they have already selected the dress they will wear for the polling day.

They suggested to each other in their sign language what to wear. They also display their voter identity cards proudly and show it to everyone who visit the family.

“We are unable to find out why they have become so anxious for their vote… when any neighbours or relatives visit our house, the girls show them their voter ID cards and try to explain them about voting,” Ali said.

Jamat Danis, who resides in the vicinity, said,”Despite their disability, these deaf and dumb sisters have become a source of inspiration for all of us as their eagerness and enthusiasm for their vote is commendable. It is becoming a motivating factor for the villagers to positively cast our vote.”

Mohammad Rafiq, former panch of the village, said the whole village is proud of the young voters, especially the girls who have become a talk of every household thus, becoming a motivating factor for everyone.

“We are expecting 100 per cent polling in the village,” he said.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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