MALKANGIRI: Come April 11, the administration of Malkangiri, located in the southern end of Odisha, looks to pick up every differently-abled voter from his/her doorstep and drop them off at the polling booth.
All the 4,445 identified PwD voters would be not only be ferried to the pooling booths but would also be provided wheel chairs so that they can cast their votes. They will also assisted by volunteers at the booths, Collector Manish Agarwal said on Saturday. Ramps have already been constructed at all the 540 booths in the district.
Flagging off a wheel chair rally for People with Disabilities (PwDs) from the Collectorate here, Agarwal said aim of the administration is to ensure unprecedented participation of differently-abled voters from the district. Speaking to Express, the Collector said elaborate arrangements have been made for polling, especially in the sensitive Swabhiman Anchal of the district.
“Our objective is to ensure that each and every voter of Swabhiman Anchal is able to exercise his/her franchise without fear,” he said. To counter possible Maoist violence, all sensitive and hyper-sensitive polling stations in the area have either been clubbed or shifted to safer locations. Instances of EVM snatching by the Naxals were reported from the district in the last elections.
The Collector said the elections in Swabhiman Anchal will be held under the hawk’s eye of CAPF personnel. “Voters of Swabhiman Anchal and other areas of the district are excited to participate in the democratic process due to the month-long awareness drive on the right to exercise their franchise,” he said, adding unlike previous years, PwD voters need not stand in queue at the polling stations to cast their vote.