Hospital assists patients in voting

City Elections Politics

The initiative was in collaboration with the Election Commission of India and BBMP.

Manipal Hospitals in Bangalore South cluster is taking their inpatients to polling stations to cast their vote.

The hospital took prior permission from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Election Commission of India to carry out the initiative.

Manipal Hospital, Jayanagar, took Kalavathi, a 78-year-old pneumonia patient, to BES College, a polling booth in South Bangalore constituency to cast her vote. She was taken in an ambulance with her oxygen cylinders, said, Anand, the ambulance driver.  Kalavathi, was hospitalized due to a drop in the  oxygen levels in her blood.

Another patient from Manipal, Jayanagar, who was supposed to cast their vote   could not go to the polling station as their condition worsened.

Manipal Hospitals assisted 50 patients aged between 25 and 103, across the constituencies in Bengaluru, said Karthik Rajagopal Chief Operating Officer (COO), Manipal. He said that the initiative is going on.  The patients who voted till 3 p.m.  include an accident victim and a patient who underwent a uro-surgery yesterday.

“We  are trying to fulfil our civic duty by providing transportation and medical assistance, allowing every citizen, regardless of health circumstances, to participate in the democratic process,” said Karthik.

He added, “Some patients are withdrawing due to their deteriorating health. We are trying to take as many patients as possible for voting.”

Kalavathi, a 78-year-old pneumonia patient, to BES College, a polling booth in South Bangalore constituency to cast her vote.

A spokesperson from Manipal, Jayanagar, said that the initiative is to give all the patients the opportunity to fulfill their right to vote. “Despite all their treatments and challenges, they have shown interest in casting votes. They shouldn’t feel that being hospitalized stops them from casting their votes,” he said.

Hospital authorities said that Manipal did this initiative last year for the Assembly elections, and one of the patients from Jayanagar, Manipal who voted was 104 years old.

The inpatients  across 10 branches  of Manipal, Bangalore were taken to cast their votes.  These branches include Hebbal, Doddaballapur, Yeshwanthpur, Malleshwaram, Miller’s Road, Old Airport Road, Jayanagar, Sarjapur, Whitefield and Varthur..  

Kalyani Chamaraj, a representative from Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) in Karnataka, said that such initiatives ensure that the real opinion of the citizens come through in the results. “Many are prevented from voting because they are sick and disabled. The more people vote, the better it is. Only then will we know the real verdict of the people,” she said.

Kalyani added that if some people are volunteering to help, it will encourage more people to cast vote.

Nikita Joshi has contributed to this story.