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Harmony Foundation Commends Seal Ashram, Panvel for Enhancing and Adding Value to the Democratic Landscape of India

“Seal Ashram has yet again marked a historic achievement ensuring that even the most marginalized members of society, the destitute, have the opportunity to exercise their fundamental right to vote in the ongoing elections.

Against the backdrop of countless individuals lost in the shadows of society, invisible even to the census, Seal Ashram has emerged as a symbol of hope, extending love and care to those deemed forgotten. This year the date of 13th May witnessed an extraordinary day, as 86 destitute residents of Seal Ashram, casted their votes for the first time facilitated by the Ashram’s relentless efforts”, said Dr.Mathai.

“Seal Ashram stands in championing the rights of these people and has truly embarked on a mission to dismantle the barriers that have for long prevented unfortunate destitute individuals from being a part of society. As India has been preparing for the elections, Seal Ashram’s efforts have borne fruit. For the first time in history, the destitute have had the opportunity to cast their votes, to make their voices heard, and to shape the future of our nation.

Rarely do we find destitute being given the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights through voting in elections. SEAL Ashram has endeavored to ensure that the destitutes under their care have registered as voters and exercised their democratic rights in this ongoing elections,” Dr.Mathai added.

Dr. Mathai, recalling the critical period of the pandemic, said that with the help of the Harmony Foundation, Seal Ashram took proactive steps to support destitute individuals residing within its premises who lacked the essential Aadhar Card which was necessary for accessing vaccination then.

Recognizing that many lacked basic forms of identification, such as the Aadhar Card, he mobilized resources and support to overcome bureaucratic obstacles and secure this necessary documentation. At the time, he spoke to the then Collector, Ms.Nidhi Chaudhary, and reminded her that every citizen had a “Right to Life” enshrined in the Constitution and hence vaccination cannot be denied. Thereafter, Ms. Nidhi Chaudhary took the bold decision of having the Aadhar Camp at the Ashram to ensure that these people get their Aadhar Cards, which was an important document for their vaccination in the year 2021.

“I am truly elated that today these Aadhar cards have enabled the destitute to exercise their voting rights on May 13th in Maval constituency, not only granting them a sense of identity and belonging but also facilitating their inclusion in the democratic process,” Dr. Mathai added.

In conclusion, Dr. Mathai said that this momentous occasion serves as a significant call to action for agencies, NGOs, and governments alike, urging them to follow in the footsteps of Seal Ashram and extend a hand of compassion to the ignored and marginalized. This landmark achievement of Seal Ashram sets a precedent not only for India but for the world at large, reminding us all of the power of empathy and solidarity.

SEAL Ashram has taken India’s democracy to a higher level by enabling the marginalized destitute to exercise their right to vote which is a feat probably yet to be seen in other democracies. As we celebrate this historic achievement, let us also recommit ourselves to the principles of democracy and equality. Let us pledge to stand in solidarity with the marginalized and disenfranchised, ensuring that their voices are not only heard but valued and respected. Together, we can build a future where no one is left behind, where every voice is heard, and where compassion reigns supreme.

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