In a remarkable display of civic duty, Priyadarshee Panigrahi, an NRI based in Dubai, embarked on a 20-hour journey to his hometown Sambalpur to cast his vote in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Panigrahi, who has been living in Dubai since 2008, cast his vote in the third phase of polling at Bhutapada, Sambalpur on Saturday.

Panigrahi, the son of the late Sriballav Panigrahi, a former minister and MP, emphasized the importance of voting regardless of one’s location. “I firmly believe every vote counts and it is our duty to participate in the electoral process, no matter which part of the world we are in,” he said.

Currently heading the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) business for an Indian multinational company, Panigrahi’s journey involved flying from Dubai to Kolkata, followed by a road trip to Sambalpur. He shared that voting in Sambalpur was a way of honoring his roots and paying tribute to his late father, who had twice represented Sambalpur in the Odisha Assembly.

This year, 196 Odias residing abroad have registered as overseas/NRI voters for the elections in Odisha. However, the number of these voters who have physically returned to cast their ballots is not yet known.