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Slew of measures to help specially-abled voters

Slew of measures to help specially-abled voters

Kolkata: Election officials of the North Kolkata Parliamentary constituency segment have initiated various steps to reach out to the specially-abled voters under its jurisdiction and encourage them to exercise their electoral franchise.

Braille-enabled Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will be arranged for visually-impaired voters, officials are visiting the homes of the specially-abled persons to know about their disabilities and locations, a ramp will be put up on the ground with handrail so that wheelchairs can be rolled on the them and some of them will picked up from home and dropped back after the voting process.

The North Kolkata will go to poll in the seventh phase of Lok Sabha elections on

19 May.

The district election officer (DEO) of North Kolkata, Dibyendu Sarkar, has already directed the other election officials to make all the necessary arrangements to ensure a pleasant voting experience for all the specially-abled voters.

The officials have also been asked to chalk out a detailed plan to help differently-abled voters to exercise their franchise without any difficulties.

The office of the DEO has already carried out a survey to identify these voters and their locations in order to make special arrangements for them on the day of poll.

The poll personnel have started visiting their homes to know about their disabilities and what kind of assistance they would need to reach polling booths to cast their votes. They have been asked to collect details of the locations and contact numbers of such voters.

According to district election officer Dibyendu Sarkar, there are altogether 1,500 differently abled voters in North Kolkata. The election officials have prepared a list of these voters with the data provided by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the office of the commissioner for persons with disabilities.

"We are making necessary arrangements for the differently-abled voters at the polling stations. A ramp will be put up on the ground with handrail so that wheelchairs can be rolled on the ramp. Voters with physical deformities need not to stand in the queue and they will be allowed to cast their votes the moment they step into the booth," Sarkar said.

Sarkar further said: "Braille-enabled Electronic Voting Machines will be arranged for visually-impaired voters. There will be special arrangements for elderly voters as well. We have decided to arrange 150 wheelchairs in North Kolkata. Vehicles and wheelchairs will be arranged for persons requiring special assistance. We have already spoken to various organisations and NGOs to arrange for wheelchairs. Arrangements will be made to pick up these individuals from their homes and drop them back after voting."

An audio-visual documentary for specially-abled people has been released by the District Election Officer where these voters have been urged to cast their votes. The video will encourage the specially-abled people to take part in the election process, said a senior election official.

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