Don?t forget the disabled voter, parties told
Political parties have been asked to make the cause of the disabled part of their election campaign. NGOs working with the disabled have come together under the banner of Rehabilitation Coordination India (RCI) to write a letter to 18 parties pointing out that the disabled, who comprise 10 per cent of the population, and their families, are a substantial vote bank.
“The members of such families are most worried about the sufferings of the disabled. And progressive measures aimed at their welfare will receive public empathy in abundance,” RCI chairman Thakur V. Hari Prasad said in the letter.
The letter urged parties to provide equal opportunities to the physically challenged people of India.
It also said the implementation of the programme of education for all had not been pursued vigorously enough — the disabled had been neglected — which was a blot on the democratic tradition of the country.
Among the leaders approached by the RCI are Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, BJP chief M. Venkaiah Naidu, CPI(M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet, CPI leader A.B. Bardhan, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.