In remote hilly terrain, palanquins for pregnant women to polling booths

The Director General of Health has instructed all Chief Medical Officers to coordinate with the respective District Election Officers to facilitate the provision of palanquins for eligible voters.
A handicapped voter being carried to a polling booth during Uttarakhand state polls
A handicapped voter being carried to a polling booth during Uttarakhand state polls

DEHRADUN : As part of an initiative to maximise voter turnout in the April 19 Lok Sabha elections in Uttarakhand, the health department will offer palanquin services to pregnant women and elderly people above 85 years, to the polling booths of the difficult terrain.

The initiative was based on the directions of chief electoral officer BVRC Purushottam.

According to State Election Commission sources, “In the hilly and inaccessible areas, people aged 85 years and above besides those with disabilities who choose to visit polling stations voluntarily will receive full assistance from the Commission.

Speaking to this newspaper, Purushottam pointed out, “The health department has been directed to collect information about the people eligible to avail the service”.

“Instructions have been issued to the health department to ensure smooth functioning of the palanquin service in the remote hilly areas of the state so that the voting percentage is not affected in any way. This ensures that elderly citizens and pregnant women are not deprived of their democratic right to vote,” he added.

Director General of Health Dr Vinita Shah said, “Chief Medical Officers of eleven districts barring Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts, have been asked to arrange for a sufficient number of palanquins.” Besides, he said, provisions are also being made to extend the service to the disabled and elderly voters aged over 85 years.

The Director General of Health has instructed all Chief Medical Officers to coordinate with the respective District Election Officers to facilitate the provision of palanquins for eligible voters.

Expressing enthusiasm over the innovative palanquin service, 87-year-old Omar Hussain, a resident of Niazganj in Almora district, said, “I am delighted that I will be able to exercise my democratic right to vote with ease, even at this age.”

There are more than 83.21 lakh voters in the state, including 43.08 lakh males, 40.12 lakh females, and 1.45 lakh young voters. In addition, there are 79,900 physically disabled voters, and over 6,500 voters aged 85 and above, as per state Chief Electoral Officer BVRC Purushottam.

A total of 11,729 polling centers have been set up for the voting process.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com