Sunday, February 1, 2015

List of inaccessible polling booths submitted to CEO Delhi

Delhi elections 2015: EC takes steps to make polling booths accessible to disabled
PTI. 1 Feb 2015
NEW DELHI: Ahead of the February 7 election, the Election Commission has been submitted a list of "troubled polling booths" in Delhi where differently-abled persons could face difficulties.

Deputy Chief Electoral officer AK Srivastava had called a meeting on January 27 with all the stakeholders to facilitate the differently-abled voters to exercise their franchise without any hassle during the upcoming assembly election.

Satendra Singh, RTI activist and professor of physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences who was present at the meeting, submitted a list of 11 polling booths which had proved trouble makers for voters with disability in the past.

In the presence of all three commissioners of civic bodies, measures taken during the last year's Lok Sabha election to facilitate such voters were reviewed and it was decided to repeat the same as they had proved successful.

Singh said he asked the government agencies such as Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Institute of Physically Handicapped (IPH) and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi to provide wheelchairs at the polling booths.

"I have given a list of troubled polling booths which include 11 names from different parts of the capital so that steps can be taken to make them assessable for such voters who often prefer not to step out if such problems persist," said Singh
"This exercise to facilitate voters with disability will certainly raise the participation," Singh added.

During the Lok Sabha polls, Singh said almost 2,600 wheelchairs were provided by MSJE and DDA. This time, IPH is expected to provide 400 wheelchairs.
"I urge all the government bodies including MSJE and DDA to ensure that wheelchairs are in good numbers at the polling booths as measures taken during Lok Sabha elections were appreciated by almost all quarters," Singh said, adding that he would provide more names of inaccessible polling booths to CEO office in coming days.
The polling booths identified so far include Haveli Azam Khan, Chandni Chowk, booth no.56 at JNU, Mahroli Assembly, booth number A-28 in Subhash Nagar,block 26 Community Centre at West Patel Nagar, booths number 11, 12, 13, 14 in Rajokri, booth at SC/ST training centre, Dilshad Garden among others.

Singh said availability of wheelchairs at polling booths should be "non-negotiable".
"Thanks to Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation, last time here were around 2600 wheelchairs which helped not only voters with disabilities but also elderly citizens. Availability of wheelchairs at polling booths should be non-negotiable. Polling day is a day to celebrate Indian democracy and we all should contribute," said Singh.

He said, last time there was a provision of prior registration to know the number of voters with disabilities.
"This approach should continue or any other suitable method should be adopted by which we can know the exact number of voters with disabilities," Singh added.

Recalling physicist Stephen Hawking's visit to India and his wish to see monuments in Delhi, he said, "in one night, all these places were made accessible with temporary wooden ramps".

"When we can do this for our guests why can't we do it for our own voters with disabilities," he said.
Source: PTI news on Economic Times

Correction: I could not attend the meeting on 27th Jan at O/o CEO because of prior commitment at Chennai. I submitted the list of inaccessible booths later via email.

1 comment:

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