The new voters in the village of Lagama in Uri are looking for development and equal opportunities

Uri, May 20: Siniha, a 22-year-old NEET aspirant and first-time voter from Lagama, Uri, a Hindu majority village, stressed the importance of casting a vote and said she had done her legitimate share community in development.

After casting her vote, Siniha said her village Lagama, which is 6 km from Uri town, does not have proper drinking water supply and is demanding the same benefits as those provided to the members of the Kashmiri Pandit community who have migrated from Kashmir.

“We have been living here with our Muslim brothers for centuries. Our bond is so close that we have not migrated despite adverse circumstances in the past,” Siniha said.

She urged the government to provide a special employment package to the members of the Hindu community in this village, who preferred not to migrate.

“Like the Kashmiri Pandits, the government should provide us with a special employment package,” she said. “The growing unemployment rate among our community members is a major concern.”

Madhu Bala, another resident of Lagama, also voted hoping to secure basic amenities for her village.

“I cast my vote for better drinking water, a reduction in energy tariffs, better roads and employment for our unemployed youth,” she said, expressing optimism that her vote would lead to tangible changes. “We have been receiving contaminated drinking water for years. There is no proper drinking water supply system, forcing us to get water from a polluted stream. This time, we hope that our representative will respect our voice and address issues such as drinking water and the increase in energy tariffs.”

Lagama is a Hindu-dominated village in Uri, known for its significant population of Hindu and Sikh voters. Unlike many Pandit families who migrated to Jammu and Delhi in the early 1990s, members of the Hindu community in Lagama chose to stay.

In an effort to smooth voting, authorities have set up a pink polling station staffed mainly by women.

These staff members provided vital assistance to women voters, especially the sick and elderly, with a wheelchair readily available to ensure that no voter experienced any difficulty in casting their vote.