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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

When poll duty coincided with Ahoi fast for Haryanvi mothers

The polling in the state coincided with Ahoi Ashtami when Haryanvi mothers in the state fast for the well-being and long life of their children

chandigarh Updated: Oct 21, 2019 23:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Shashi, headmistress
Shashi, headmistress(HT PHOTO)

As voters across 19,578 polling stations walked in on Monday to vote and decide which party will rule Haryana for the next five years, what went unnoticed were mothers on poll duty who were also observing the dawn-to-dusk Ahoi fast without a drop of water.

The polling in the state coincided with Ahoi Ashtami when Haryanvi mothers in the state fast for the well-being and long life of their children. They don’t drink even water till twilight or until stars are visible. They break the day long fast in the evening after performing pooja.

In spite of their parched throats and exhausting election duty, most of the women HT talked to were jubilant.

“We are strong enough to do our duty even while fasting,” Rekha Rani, who was presiding officer at Karnal’s booth number 68, said, pointing out that she would be able to break her fast after reaching home late in the evening.

Sushila, another woman on poll duty at booth number 66, was observing this fast for the first time. “We are on duty on Ahoi, but it’s a good experience. We are performing our duty for our country and the children as well,” Sushila said.

Similarly, the women police officers were also fasting. They would remain on duty until the EVMs are deposited in strong room.

Security officer Parvesh Kumari at Pratap Public School in Karnal says, “I am on fast for the first time for my son and I will remain on duty till 9pm. After finishing duty, I will go to my home in Yamunanagar and end the fast.”

In Rohtak, Shashi, a high school headmistress, was in-charge of booth number 103, who reached the polling booth at 5am. “I am fasting… but as a good citizen, we have to fulfil such duties even if we are fasting,” she said.

Anita, a teacher, deployed at ‘only for women’ booth no 103 of Sector- 3 in Rohtak, said she was enjoying duty even though she was fasting. “I am drinking water and juice,” she said.

Sunita Devi, a police constable from Hansi, observed the ritual on Sunday due to election duty. “This is a very tough fast. In view of election duty, we observed it on Sunday as the auspicious fasting period had begun on Sunday,” she said.

According to inspector Saroj Devi of women police station, Hisar, she advised the women police personnel to pre-pone the fast. “We checked the Panchang…there was a window available to observe fast on Sunday. Being an SHO of the women police station, I only suggested the force to keep the fast accordingly. The fast is very tough as women don’t even drink water.”

(With inputs from Karnal, Rohtak and Hisar)