Appealing all those who are eligible to get inoculated, Shyam Saran Negi, who is believed to be India’s oldest voter at 103 years of age, took his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday at a health centre in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district.
“I am appealing to all those who are eligible to get themselves vaccinated to fight the coronavirus,” Negi said in Kalpa, some 275 kms from the state capital, after the vaccination. He had also participated in the 1951-52 general election which was the country’s first voting exercise.
A staunch believer in democracy, the centenarian has never failed to cast his vote in any election, be it Lok Sabha, state assembly or panchayat.
In 1951, Negi, a retired schoolteacher, was on an election duty and exercised his franchise in Chini constituency — later renamed Kinnaur.
At that time, voting in the snow-bound areas of the mountain state was held ahead of other places in the country.
Negi was accorded a warm welcome by doctors at the vaccination centre set up in the Primary Health Centre, some 500 metres away from his home.
“Negi reached the vaccination centre along with his family members,” an official told IANS over phone.
After the vaccination, he was kept under observation for half-an-hour as per protocol, the official added.
Kalpa, situated at an altitude of 2,759 m from the sea level, is located on the old Hindustan Tibet Road.