Non-Resident Odia travels for 20 hours to cast his vote

Bhubaneswar: Demonstrating his commitment to civic duty and democratic principles, a Non-Resident Odia (NRO) man travelled thousands of miles to cast his vote in Odisha.

NRO Priyadarshee Panigrahi travelled from Dubai to Sambalpur to exercise his franchise in the third phase Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in Odisha today.

Priyadarshee undertook a grueling 20-hour journey to cast his votes in the twin polls.

Priyadarshee reached Kolkata from Dubai by air and then travelled to Jharsuguda by train. He reached Sambalpur by road and cast his vote at a polling booth at Government Primary School at Bhutapara at around 11.30 am today.

‘I have a special connection with Sambalpur. I had spent my childhood here. My father late Sriballav Panigrahi had represented Sambalpur in the Odisha Assembly twice in 1971 & 1974. I think travelling back to Sambalpur and casting my vote is my homage to my motherland and my father,” said Priyadarshee, who has been staying in abroad since 2008.

‘Voting is not just a privilege; it is a duty that we owe to our country and our future generations. I view voting as not only a right but as a responsibility. I firmly believe that every vote counts and it is our duty to participate in the electoral process, no matter where we are in the world,” he added.

The NRO man has a plan to return to Dubai tomorrow. Priyadarshee’s long journey from Dubai to Odisha just to cast his vote has received attention as well as applauses from several quarters.

Priyadarshee and his 13-year-old daughter Tisya are well-known scuba divers. They are among a very few father-daughter advanced scuba divers from India.

Born into a freedom fighter’s family, Sriballav, incidentally, had the distinction of being India’s youngest cabinet minister, when he joined the then Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy’ s cabinet in 1973 at the age of 32.

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