It was a special moment for them

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Thirty-five residents of Beggar Rehabilitation Centre, situated off Ashapur Road here, cast their votes on Thursday.

While it was a first-time experience for most of them, some others were exercising their franchise after many years.

The centre earlier had 66 residents and 31 of them were reunited with their relatives.

The authorities enrolled the residents in the electoral roll after taking permission from the tahsildar and got voter identity cards for them. They also got Aadhaar cards.

They cast their vote at polling station number 169 which was set up at the office of Social Welfare Department near Station Circle.

“These people do have the right to cast their vote just like any other citizen in the country. It is a part of our efforts to bring them to the mainstream by inculcating a sense of equality in them,” K.P. Chinnapalaiah, superintendent of the centre, told The Hindu.

“Most of us had a feeling of being alienated from rest of the society. Today, we feel that we too are part of it,” Jagannath said.

“I cast my vote for the first time today at the age of 36. It is because of the initiative of the authorities of the rehabilitation centre that I could participate in the electoral process. I will never this moment in my rest of my life,” Basavaraj said.

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