Gauri and mother Rekha with a young supporter as they campaign for Sahay in Ranchi on Monday. Telegraph picture
A daughter may find a prince someday, but her father will always be her king.
Gauri Sahay, the 17-year-old girl of sitting Congress MP Subodh Kant Sahay, is braving heat and dust in urban slums and remote villages to help her daddy retain his Ranchi crown as the clock ticks for round two.
With the prestigious parliamentary constituency going to polls on Thursday, campaigning must end on Tuesday, sharp at 4pm. Making the most of this last lap, Gauri — who recently appeared for her plus two examinations from Jamnabai Narsee School, Mumbai — is making impassioned appeals to the masses to choose the right candidate though she herself is yet to attain the voting age.
“All this is so exciting!” gushed the teen campaigner who hopes to find herself in her father’s shoes someday. “I am touring far-flung Ranchi pockets such as Ratu, Rahe, Sonahatu and Jonha. These journeys have made me realise how tough life can be. I am urging people to vote for development,” Gauri told The Telegraph on Monday afternoon.
The youngster begins her day at 9.30am. Pretty in a salwar-kurta, she goes from one neighbourhood to another with mother Rekha Sahay. The duo return as late as 9pm. During their campaign, they ensure that they tie up loose ends that may tip scales against the veteran Congress leader.
Gauri explains to her audience how her father has dedicated his political career to the development of his home constituency. Armed with statistics, she says Sahay has spent 77.63 per cent of his MPLAD funds for construction of roads and school boundary walls, besides installing hand pumps in urban slums. “If he wins, he will power your lives,” she tells villagers.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the doting daughter said: “This is my first time. I have never campaigned before. I was surprised to see naïve villagers surviving without basic amenities such as water and power. Some are even unaware of government schemes. They must know who to approach and who to vote. My father will help them.”
The smart girl is not just campaigning for the sake of it; she is a natural in understanding popular pulse. “Some people do not have ration cards; some are unable to avail of old-age pension. My objective is to show them the right path.”
Her youthful energy a plus in this election heat, Gauri is ensuring she has every pocket that matters on her itinerary. “Tomorrow, I will try to reach out to maximum voters. I feel proud to see how people respect my father. Fingers crossed, may he win again.”
Canvas has been Gauri’s calling since she was a child. Will canvassing be an integral part of her career someday? “Maybe. I wish to serve.” She definitely has brains to add to her untarnished beauty.
Do you agree with Gauri’s campaign pitch?