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Braille voters slips for visually impaired, pick - drop for differently-abled in Jharkhand

Jharkhand has total 77,462 voters with disabilities. Chief electoral office decided to provide all basic facilities to differently -abled persons in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Feb 27, 2019 08:18 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
A Police personnel support to physically challenge voter during 4rd phase of Jharkhand Assembly Election in Dhanbad
A Police personnel support to physically challenge voter during 4rd phase of Jharkhand Assembly Election in Dhanbad(File)
         

The chief electoral office (CEO) in Jharkhand on Tuesday announced a series of measures to ensure hassle-free participation of voters with disabilities in the Lok Sabha elections.

State’s CEO, L Khiyangate said that visually impaired voters would be provided with Braille enabled voter slips and pick and drop facility would be given to the physically challenged persons in coming parliamentary elections. Khiyangate said that the initiatives were taken as part of Election Commission of India’s (ECI) strategy framework for ‘accessible election.’

“Visually impaired will be provided Braille-enabled voter slips. The ballot paper pasted on the voting machine with name and symbol of candidates would also be Braille-enabled,” Khiyangate said.

Braille is a tactile writing system used by visually-impaired. It is a touch reading system in which script with raised dots can be read with fingers. The Braille enabled voter slips were used in the recently held assembly polls in the country, officials said. They said the system would be used for the first time during general elections in Jharkhand. As per the record with the chief electoral office, elector population of visually impaired in Jharkhand is 11,676.

Additional chief electoral officer (ACEO), Vinay Kumar Choubey, “We are planning pick and drop facilities for the physically challenged people the elections. They will be picked from their homes to the polling booths. Arrangement of wheel chairs at polling stations is also being made for them.”

Choubey said voters with disability were being identified. Local administrations have also been asked to provide them the pick and drop and other facilities, he said.

Choubey said that ramp facility was being ensured in every polling booths. A total of 29,464 polling stations are being set up for the upcoming parliamentary polls. “Ramps have been created in 85.24% polling stations across Jharkhand. The facility is being extended to remaining polling booths,” Choubey said.

The number of persons with disabilities in Jharkhand is 77,462 till January 30, 2019, according to the state electoral roll. Number of voters with speech or hearing disability in is 9,248, while the voters’ population with locomotor disability is 41,533. Number of other disability is 13,441 and voters with intellectual disability are 1,280.

Jharkhand Viklang Manch (JVM) welcomed the initiatives of the electoral office. “Very few differently-able people used to go for voting during elections due to lack of facilities. The election commission appears to be serious for the differently abled this election. The initiatives would help increase our participation in the elections,” said Narendra Prasad Singh, JVM secretary.

BOX

Total voters with disability: 77,462

Visually impaired: 11,676

Speech/hearing impaired: 9,248

Locomotor disabled: 41,533

Persons withb intellectual disability: 1,280

Other disability: 13,441

Total polling stations: 29,464

Polling stations with ramps: 85.24%

EOM

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 08:18 IST

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