9 April 2014
Last updated at 01:59
Thousands of homeless people living in the Indian capital, Delhi, will be able to vote for the first time after the Election Commission included their names in the electoral rolls. Photographer Aarabu Ahmad Sultan travelled across the city to meet the men and women who have now become first-time voters.
With 814 million eligible voters in India, the polls are being described as the world's biggest election. Voting for the nine-phase polls began on 7 April and will conclude on 12 May. Delhi votes on 10 April. The election authorities in the capital have provided more than 8,000 homeless with voter identity cards.
Surodh Bindh, 36, who received his voter card last year, has been helping other homeless people to register for their identity cards.
The election identity cards have many uses - those who have them can open bank accounts, get cooking gas connections and can travel by train since proof of identity is needed to access these services.
Official estimates say Delhi has 60,000 homeless people. Here, some of them are assembled in a temporary shelter in old Delhi to watch a cricket match on television.
The homeless live in areas around the railway stations, metro stations, under flyovers, on pavements, and on the banks of the Yamuna river and in subways.
However, many homeless people say they have not yet received their voter ID cards despite submitting the application forms. Some are angry and allege that they have even paid bribes to officials.
Sunil Tanti, 21, has lived in Delhi since he was a child. He works in a tea stall near the Hanuman temple in Connaught Place and says he has no idea about who his parents are or where they live. “More than anything this voter card will save me from harassment of the police," he says.
Victoria, 85, lives with her 63-year-old son Augustin under a flyover near south Delhi's Malaviya Nagar area. Augustin, who makes a few rupees a day by begging on the streets, has a voter ID card which was made in his birthplace in the northern town of Meerut, but Victoria does not have one.