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India: Polling station set up in a remote village in the Himalayas, where only five family members voted

SIACHEN GLACIER, India: Five people from one family in a remote Himalayan village voted at their own polling stations in the Sunday phase after officials traveled seven hours and borrowed an electricity connection from the army to cast their votes.

Officials collected voting machines on Sunday from Leh, the capital of the Himalayan federal territory Ladakh, and boarded a bus for the 180km journey to Warshi – where the only voters were Rinchen, 23, her parents and grandparents.

It is located about 20 km from the Siachen Glacier, dubbed the world’s highest battlefield, where Indian and Pakistani forces clashed for 40 years. Warshi is accessible by road, but lacks amenities such as electricity, healthcare and internet.

Polling station officials turned to the army’s Border Roads Organization to get electricity when the generator they were carrying failed to work.

Rinchen, a first-time voter, hopes her vote will help drive change.

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“It’s a mixed feeling of excitement and responsibility. I would like to ask the new government to solve the problems we have here,” she said.

Her grandparents – Lozbang Sherab, 75, and Pustong Lamo, 85 – still found it difficult to reach the polling station, even though it was right next to their house.

Sherab carried his wife out of the house and down the stairs on her back before helping her into a wheelchair.

When Lamo emerged after casting her vote, she was applauded by her family and poll workers.

The Lok Sabha elections have been going on since April 19. The elections end on June 1 and the counting is scheduled for June 4. The fifth phase of voting took place on Sunday.