For Rizwana (25), who left home early to cast her vote, the journey to her polling booth in Padmanabhnagar Assembly constituency was far easier than the few steps she had to walk to enter from the doorway to the polling station.
With no ramp or alternative arrangements for people like her, it took her a long time to negotiate the short flight of steps outside the booth. Ms. Rizwana, who uses a walker, said that she climbed the stairs aided by her mother and cast her vote.
At the same polling booth, another man, who walked with the help of a walking stick, said that he faced similar difficulties. The situation was similar at the polling booth in the JSS Public School, HRBR Layout, where a fleet of stairs at the entrance proved to be a challenge for persons with disabilities.
Incidentally, this is the first time that those with visual impairment are being able to vote independently in an Assembly election. Introduced in the 2009 parliamentary polls, the Braille layers on the electronic voting machines allow the blind to vote without any assistance.
One such voter, S.P. Nagesh, a bank employee who voted at a school on Magadi Road, said: “We were very happy with the Braille-enabled machines. However, the ramp was too steep and I had to take my friend’s help to get into the booth.”