The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday said a total of 62,63,701 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) were registered through ‘Accessible Elections’, an initiative taken by the poll conducting body to ensure the participation of PwDs.
“During this election, special focus was given to ensure the participation of Persons with Disabilities. A total of 62,63,701 PwDs were registered within an electorate of 910 million,” the EC said.
Stating that Accessibility Observers were introduced this year, EC said that this election was witness to many firsts in the domain of accessibility of all; EVMs used in the elections were embossed with Braille signage for the visually impaired voters’ assistance. “It was the first time that EPICs with braille were provided to the visually impaired electors. Other documents like voters’ slip, voter guide had braille signage too. Accessibility Observers were introduced, who ensured all the polling stations are accessible to the PwD,” the EC said.
The motto of ‘Accessible Elections’ was one among the many initiatives of Election Commission to make the world’s largest democratic exercise inclusive and participative for all, it added.
“The electors with disabilities and senior citizens were mapped polling station wise to provide them targeted and need-based assistance on the day of poll. During the election, all the polling stations were equipped with enough supply of wheelchairs and it was ensured that all polling stations had sturdy ramps for the convenience of PwD electors,” the commission said in a press release.
It also added that all the polling stations had a sign language expert, signage and transport facility.
“Door to door registration drives were carried to facilitate PwDs during the enrollment process. Moreover, a special mobile application was also developed by the Commission for easy registration. For the convenience and facilitation of voters, polling stations were equipped with clean drinking water adequate furniture for voters in the queue, shed, and toilets for the voters. Facilities like medical aid with basic supplies were also provided on the day of poll. Proper arrangement of crèche with a trained attendant was also available for children accompanying the electors,” EC said in a statement on Sunday.