She refused to let her inability to walk affect her wish to vote. But the facilities at the polling booth in Dwarka sector 10 failed Padma Malhotra, 65.
And so ultimately she could not do anything but sit with a grim face at the entrance gate of the polling booth. The severe pain in her knees did not allow her to walk even a few meters."I had made up mind about not voting this year, but I reconsidered because I am a responsible citizen. There are no proper arrangements for people like us at polling booths. A wheelchair, at least, is a must," she said.
Malhotra had been brought to the polling booth by vans on MCD duty. Many others like her were also forced to either walk or wait for assistance from policemen and MCD officials on duty.
In Kathputli Colony, where there were no facilities in place for the disabled, Bhagwani Devi, 62, had to be carried to the polling booth by her female relatives. She wrapped her arms around the two and reached the polling station in the afternoon. Seeing her condition, people in the queue made way for her and let her cast her vote first.
At most stations, police officials were forced to allow private vehicles inside stations. “We had no other option. It would have been inhuman to ask them to walk as there were no wheelchairs here to take them,” said a cop on duty at Safdarjung Enclave.