After Independence, the first Indian to cast his vote for the parliamentary polls held for the first time was Shyam Saran Negi.
He did so on October 25, 1951, for the Mandi-Mahasu parliamentary constituency (now Mandi). The majority of the election happened in February 1952, but the voters of Himachal Pradesh were made to vote five months in advance because heavy snowfall was predicted there in October, which would have made it difficult for people to reach the polling stations.
Shyam was a government school teacher during that time. He retired in 1975, reports The Times of India.
Today, Shyam is 100-years-old and is all set to vote for the upcoming assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh on November 9.
He is not only the first Indian to vote, but now he will also be the oldest one.
The Election Commission is making special arrangements to help Shyam cast his vote as he has difficulty walking at his age. A special vehicle will be provided to him by the Kinnaur district administration to take him to the polling station. They will also drop him back home, reports TOI.
Shyam’s daughter-in-law told the publication that he has never missed the chance to vote and that he is an inspiration to others. During the 2014 parliamentary polls, Google made a video of him as part of their #PledgeToVote campaign, where he narrates the story of his first vote. This video made him popular among the masses, who were reminded of the importance of voting. By voting at the age of 100, Shyam will further inspire the youth to come out and vote.