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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As the campaigning for the forthcoming Urban Local Body polls in Odisha enters the final day, candidates and their supporters are making last ditch attempt to woo voters' confidence before the big day of polling on March 24. 

However, all tall promises and rosy campaign by political parties have failed to convince the elderly voters. Old timers in the Capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar rue lack of concrete development vision in the plans of candidates vying to win the public mandate.

OTV gauged the mood of senior citizens, who comprise 13 per cent of population in Bhubaneswar, in its special Town Khatti programme. Elderly residents of the city shed light on their many concerns about lack of long-term development activities.

“Elections come and go and candidates give us many false promises during campaigning. However, they forget all about the assurances once the elections are finished. Ultimately it is the denizens who continue to suffer without basic amenities,” complained an old lady.

“The netizens of the Capital City are still grappling with water-logging, drinking water and road connectivity facilities. Senior citizens are feeling insecure as anti-socials are roaming freely,” she added.

Another elderly man rued that candidates only come to senior citizens to seek blessings during the poll canvassing and disappear once the election is over.
“We feel neglected,” the man said adding that most of the candidates lack foresight for long term development.

Elders are feeling lonely and the local administration should take initiatives to give psychological solace to them, said a senior citizen from Niladri Vihar area.

“Community centers and more parks should come up for the senior citizens, so that they could spend time there during their leisure period and entertain them,” he mentioned.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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