|Retired school teacher
|Being the first voter of Independent India
|Physical Stats & More
|Date of Birth
|1 July 1917
|Kalpa, Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh
|Date of Death
|5 November 2022
|Place of Death
|Kalpa, Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh
|Age (at the time of death)
|Age-related ailments BBC
|Till 5th standard, he studied at a local school in Kalpa. After 5th standard, he studied at a local school in Rampur, Himachal Pradesh.
|Lives in Kalpa, Kinnaur District, Himachal Pradesh
|Listening to Radio
|In 2019, a BJP worker, Pushapraj, used the word "Chowkidar" with Negi's name. In response to this, Negi lodged a complaint with the Kinnaur DC; saying that he was not using any social media platform and had not authorized anyone, except the H.P. Government and Election Commission Of India, to use his pictures or name for the fulfilment of their political interests.
|Relationships & More
|Marital Status (at the time of death)
|Hira Mani (died in 2014 at the age of 78 years) The Times of India
|Son(s)- Chander Prakash (youngest son) & 3 more
Daughter(s)- 5 (Names not known)
|Father- Late Narayan Das
Mother- Name not known
Some Lesser Known Facts About Shyam Saran Negi
- Shyam Saran Negi was a resident of Kalpa village in Himachal Pradesh, India who is best known as the first voter in the general elections of Independent India. He died on 5 November 2022 at the age of 105 years.
- He resided in Kanang Saring in Kalpa, which is famous for its high-quality apples and is situated at an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet (3048 meters).
- He went to school at the age of 10. Till 5th standard, he studied at Kalpa, but from 6th standard onwards, he studied at Rampur.
- When he got enrolled in a school in Rampur, he covered the 70 miles journey to Rampur on foot, which took him 3 days to reach there.
- By the time he reached the 10th standard, he had become 20 years old, and being overaged, he was denied admission to the 10th standard.
- Before joining the Education Department as a teacher at Kalpa Lower Middle School, he worked as a Forest Guard with the Forest Department from 1940-1946. He retired from the education department from the post of Junior Basic Teacher, after working for 23 years, in 1975.
- He first voted on 25th October 1951. The elections were preponed 6 months in Kinnaur due to the forecast of harsh weather and heavy snow in the area; whereas for the rest of the country, the elections were scheduled in February 1952. Negi was 33 years old when he first voted in the first Lok Sabha Elections in 1951 and he will vote for the 17th time in the General Elections, which are scheduled to be held on 19 May 2019 in Himachal Pradesh.
- Reportedly, Negi, as a government teacher, was posted outside his hometown during the first General Elections. However, on his request, the officials allowed him to cast his vote in his hometown; making him the first Indian to cast his vote in the General Elections.
- Negi retired from the same school where he had cast his first vote; after 23 years of his service.
- He lost his eldest son in 2002.
- He was just another elderly voter until 2007 when the Election Commission traced him and his true identity of being independent India’s first voter was revealed.
- In 2010, the then Chief Election Commissioner of India, Navin Chawla visited Negi’s village to honour him as part of the Election Commission’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
- In 2014, Google India made a video in which Negi told about his participation in the first election and reminded viewers of the importance of voting.
- He also featured in the film “Sanam Re”, released in 2016, directed by Divya Khosla Kumar and starred Yami Gautam and Pulkit Samrat along with Urvashi Rautela in leading roles.
- In the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha elections held on 9 November 2017, he was given a warm welcome at the voting booth, and arrangements to pick up and drop him at home were made by the Election Commission. Also, the red carpet was rolled in his honour on his way to the voting booth. Deccan Chronicle
- He was appointed by the Election Commission as the Brand Ambassador for its Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) campaign.
- In his life, he cast his vote in almost every election be it Lok Sabha, assembly, or Panchayat election.
As the very first voter of Independent India, Shyam Saran Negi is now a formidable 101 years of age. His eyes still blaze with energy as he tells us why he has never missed a single election day. His story takes us through our iconic history so that we vote to create a magnificent future. स्वतंत्र भारत के पहले चुनाव के समय से लेकर अब तक करीब 16 लोकसभा चुनावों को देख चुके श्याम सरन नेगी आज 101 वर्ष के हो चुके हैं. उनका शरीर झुक चुका है, हड्डियां जवाब दे चुकी हैं. चेहरे पर झुर्रियां पड़ चुकी हैं,पर उनकी आँखों की चमक अब भी वैसी की वैसी की ही है, जो आज से करीब 70 साल पहले थी. उम्र के इस पड़ाव पर भी श्याम सरन नेगी तमाम बाधाओं को पार करते हुए अपने मताधिकार का प्रयोग करने के लिए सिर्फ़ इसलिए इलेक्शन बूथ तक जाते हैं, जिससे भारत का सुनहरा कल लिखने में वो भी अपनी मौजूदगी दर्ज़ करवा सकें. इतिहास से गुजरते हुए भारत के सुनहरे भविष्य का सपना देखने वाले नेगी जी हमें प्रेरित करते हैं कि हम भी अपने घर से निकले और अपने मताधिकार का प्रयोग करें.#MakeYourMark
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- During the 2022 Himachal Pradesh assembly election, he cast his ballot just three days ago before his death on 5 November 2022; it was the first time he had not attended a polling booth, opting to post his ballot instead due to ill health. BBC
- Following Negi’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Mr. Negi while he was speaking at an election rally; Mr. Negi was cremated with full state honours at his village in Kalpa.
- Here’s an interesting video about Shyam Saran Negi’s biography: