Friday, March 14, 2014

Delhi Election Commission plans for inclusive voting in Delhi

EC makes ‘special’ plans for inclusive voting in Delhi 

Facilities such as wheelchairs will also be made available at polling booths. 

To ensure that the differently abled are included in the polling process, the Delhi Chief Electoral Office is looking at providing special training to polling booth staff so that they are sensitive to the needs of various categories of the differently abled.

Facilities such as wheelchairs will also be made available at polling booths.

A meeting to chalk out an action plan for the same was held on Thursday. It was attended by representatives of various NGOs and civil society organisations such as Muskaan, National Association of the Deaf, Action for Ability Development and Inclusion, Koshish Special School, among others.

“After detailed discussion with NGOs and civil society organisations working with the differently abled, we got feedback about the facilities that would be required at the polling booths. We will be working to address the requirements of the different categories of differently abled. This would include behavioural training for our polling booth staff,’’ Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said.

Under the project, the NGOs will first train the master trainers of the EC.

“We have 50,000 polling booth staff. To impart training to them, we will prepare audio-visual presentations to give them a wider understanding on how to help the differently abled of different categories. The needs of a visually-impaired person is very different from that of a hearing-impaired person,’’ an official said, adding that the idea was to prepare a template which the staff could follow.

Besides this, signage and  posters will also be put up at polling booths to facilitate the differently abled.

“We are also looking at allowing attendants to assist them in casting votes,’’ an official said.
Officials said ramps would be placed to ensure seamless access.

“We are looking at making wheelchairs available at all polling booths,’’ Dev said. The EC will coordinate with civic agencies to ensure proper infrastructure at the booths.

“…it is a welcome move that someone in the government had decided to include people with disabilities. Achieving the end goal might be difficult given the fact that there are only 20 days to elections. But if we work as a team, a lot can be achieved. Infrastructure modification will be required. There are 19 kinds of disabilities which are listed and each has a different requirement…,’’ Neera Chawla, deputy director and principal  of Muskaan, said.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my God, they missed my name? Mr Dev even acknowledged me for highlighting the deficiencies in the meeting. He even asked me for certain information which i shared this morning. He was very receptive.


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