Chennai

Voters with disabilities to get aid online ahead of elections

Chennai District Election Office will launch a system for facilitating electoral assistance through social media for persons with disabilities and senior citizens.

As many as 7,200 electors with disabilities have been identified in the 16 constituencies within the Greater Chennai Corporation limits for receiving assistance. The number of persons with disabilities has increased by around 100% on the electoral rolls this year compared to the previous election.

After the launch of the system this week, civic officials will offer assistance at the doorstep based on information received through social media for persons with disabilities on all aspects of electoral issues ahead of Assembly elections.

For instance, the Corporation is planning to release a WhatsApp number this week for persons with disabilities to get all kinds of assistance ahead of elections.

“Any person with disabilities will get assistance from civic officials without visiting the Corporation office. They are requested to just send a message on WhatsApp about the difficulty relating to electoral issues,” said an official.

As senior citizens aged above 80 and all persons with disabilities were expected to get postal ballot facilities this Assembly election, Chennai District Election Office has planned to create awareness about the need for inclusion of all persons with disabilities on the rolls.

Ethical voting

The civic body has started a campaign in colleges to promote ethical voting and increase participation of first-time voters and their family members in elections.

The Corporation will conduct online participation of electoral network in colleges, covering at least 10,000 students ahead of elections.

Disabilities rights activist T.M.N. Deepak said the number of persons with disabilities is estimated at 50,000 in the 16 Assembly constituencies of Chennai. “There can be a large gap in accessing the facilities to be provided to persons with disabilities as the bracket of disability under RPWD Act is 21. Identity card has not been issued to much deserving people as they have not been certified yet.

“The rule amended on conduct of election rules mandates that any special concession for voting would be given only to those electors which flags as PWD in the drawn list. Also, the disabled electors are not aware of whom to contact or where to contact for availing themselves of help. Reaching out to the disabled people in a short time is going to be a challenge for the civic body,” said Mr. Deepak.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 7:21:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/voters-with-disabilities-to-be-given-aid-on-line-ahead-of-assembly-polls/article33604456.ece

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