Hyderabad

Number of differently abled voters goes up

A physically-challenged girl with her voter identity card in Khammam.

A physically-challenged girl with her voter identity card in Khammam.  

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Steps in place to ensure free transport to polling stations and back

The election authority has focussed on ensuring adequate steps to provide facilities to persons with disabilities (PwDs) to cast their votes in line with the theme accessible voting announced by the Election Commission of India.

The number of PwDs has increased by close to 30,000 during the special drive conducted by the Disabled Welfare Department between February 27 and March 5. This is in addition to around 20,000 new voters registered under the category during the special summary revision (SSR) of electoral rolls conducted by the election authorities between December 26 and February second week.

The total number of voters under the PwD category has now risen to close to 5 lakh against the 4.43 lakh during the recent elections to the Legislative Assembly. The State was adjudged the best in the country in terms of the facilities created for ensuring accessible voting for the PwDs last year.

According to officials, efforts had been made to incorporate columns relating to different types of disabilities in the electoral registration forms which received enthusiastic response during the SSR and special drive.

The special drive involving district welfare officers and anganwadi workers who approached all households could ensure registration of new voters under four separate separate columns – visually impaired, hearing impaired, locomotor disabilities and others – that had been incorporated in the Form 6 for application as fresh voters. With the preparation of the data sheets almost complete, officials concerned are now focussing on providing material, including electors photo identity cards along with the guidelines for voting printed in Braille.

“The infrastructure is in place and we are taking all measures for distribution of material like EPIC cards to ensure accessible elections. Steps have been put in place to ensure free transport for PwDs to their respective polling stations and back,” a senior official said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:02:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/number-of-differently-abled-voters-goes-up/article26525222.ece

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