TIRUVANNAMALAI : A family of three generations, including an 85-year-old man, is going to cast its vote for the first time in the April 18 Lok Sabha election. For over 13 years, the family of seven members had been slaving away in bondage as woodcutters at Veerambakkam village before they were rescued in 2017. As bonded labours, they were deprived of essentials to lead a decent life. Voting is touted as the right of every citizen, but for this family the right to choose even their life had been denied.
The eldest in the family, 85-year-old Kanniyappan, is a resident of Maruthadu in Vandavasi.
He had been living with his only daughter, Karuppayi, after his wife died five years ago. Karuppayi has three sons – Babu, Prabhu, and Yelumalai – two among them are married.
On learning that the family had not cast their vote in a single election, Collector-cum-District Election Officer KS Kandasamy took steps to add the seven members in the electoral list. Kandasamy, along with election officials, visited Kanniyappan’s thatched-roof house on Monday and demonstrated how to cast vote through EVMs. Kandasamy also conversed with the family about the importance of voting and electoral participation. Maruthadu village is inhabited by Irular community, and over 23 families reside here.