Election commission plans to assist disabled voters by making all polling booths disabled friendly.
New facilities such as sign language interpreters and assistants will be provided to the disabled voters in order to increase their voter base. The Election commission has decided to make all the polling booths disabled friendly.
Harish Kumar, a disabled person says, “I actually didn’t vote in the recent Karnataka elections because there were no wheelchairs and it’s not disabled friendly. I’m happy with the election commission’s new rules. With the use of the app, disabled people can get a mode of transport arranged to reach the polling booths and also book wheelchairs.”
For the first time, the Election Commission will provide 30 thousand wheelchairs at poll booths across the country at a cost of 8.26 crores.
The polling booths will now be equipped with magnifying glasses, fake Braille ballot papers to help the blind cast their vote. Nishat Ahmed, a relative of a blind person says, “My grandmother is partially blind, and it is difficult for her to read small alphabets. She hasn’t voted for the last four years because of this. The election commission’s new rule on keeping magnifying glasses and Braille will really help her cast her vote.”
The Chunavana app will be provided for registration, to know the status of registration, polling station number, polling schedule and booking of wheelchairs for PwDs. Already 303 people have used this app and have booked for wheelchairs. People with disabilities will be given priority in queues over other citizens.
VS Basavaraj, Commissioner of Disabilities of Karnataka says,” Previously not all the polling booths were disabled friendly. Now with greater awareness, the EC has come up with this decision. Definitely more disabled people will be encouraged to cast their vote”
1950 helpline, a toll-free number will be provided for People with Disabilities (PwD). Around 380 officials with disabilities will be taking part in various polling stations and election-related work in the state of Karnataka.