Blind man joins Orissa poll fray as he sees people’s plight

April 8th, 2009 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, April 8 (IANS) A visually challenged man in Orissa has thrown his hat in the election ring and hopes he would win because he can visualise the sufferings of the poor “better then others”.
Debasish Pramanik, 26, a percussionist, is contesting the assembly election as an Independent candidate from Gopalpur constituency in Ganjam district.

Pramanik, a resident of Berhampur town, some 150 km from here, has filed his nomination papers, returning officer Dhananjaya Swain told IANS.

“He came with the help of a man (to file his papers),” Swain said.

Pramanik mainly banks on door-to-door campaign to convince people to vote for him. Often without a loudspeaker, he is seen visiting house to house with the help of his friends. He demands nothing from his potential voters but a handful of rice and one rupee coin which he spends on his travel.

“I have seen the real world and can feel the suffering better then others,” says Pramanik, who lost his eye sight at the age of 12.

“I want to do something for the welfare of not only the blind but also for people (in general) and that is why I decided to contest the election,” said Pramanik, who is the secretary of district blind association.

Orissa goes to polls in two phases on April 16 and April 23 to elect 147 members to state assembly and 21 members to Lok Sabha. Gopalpur will go to poll in the first phase.

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