Hyderabad: In an attempt to create awareness on inclusive voting, differently-abled persons on Sunday gathered at the People’s Plaza on Necklace Road.
Taking a cue from the 2018 Telangana State Assembly elections, the differently-abled persons, who achieved higher percentage of turnout than the general public, hope to repeat the feat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Mr T. Somesh Babu, one of the participants of the awareness walk, could not vote in the Assembly election as he did not have a Voter ID card. “This time, I have one (voter ID card) and will go to my hometown in Warangal to cast my vote along with my friends,” he said.
Telangana state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajat Kumar also urged the people to come forward and vote. “We are making arrangements for all facilities to the voters. There will also be pickup facility for the differently-abled people. Volunteers will also be deployed to assist them,” he said.
According to the EC, which recently held a special enrolment drive, the number of differently-abled stands at 5.13 lakh.
“The enrolment of persons with disabilities was just 2.67 lakh till August 2018, which later increased to 4.44 Lakh by November 2018 at the time of the Assembly elections. Around 70 per cent of the persons enrolled in this category cast their votes.
“The Election Commission has arranged around 20,000 wheelchairs for polling stations in the entire state for persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Besides, 40,000 NSS volunteers and 52,000 other volunteers from Anganwadi, ASHA and other village-level organisations have also been roped in for helping the voters....