HYDERABAD: In the light of prevailing heat wave conditions in the State, all the District Election Officers (DEOs) have been issued instructions by Chief Electoral Officer, Telangana to extend required facilities to Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and senior citizens who come for voting at the polling stations on April 11.
As part of the objective of Election Commission of India (ECI) that “No Voter to be Left Behind”, CEO Telangana, Rajat Kumar issued instructions to the DEOs that facilities arranged in the previous elections should also be extended to all the PwD voters in forthcoming Lok Sabha polls with greater improvisation. The State has about 5,13,762 PwD voters, of them 71,414 are totally visually impaired and the rest are total speech, hearing disabled (58,310), total loco motor disabled (2,76,186) and total other disability (1,07,852).
Apart from awareness campaign, training and sensitisation to all polling staff, distribution of accessible electoral material to visually challenged, all the polling stations are being made accessible (ramps, accessible toilets, wheel chair with volunteers, signage and parking slots for PwDs), free to and fro transport facility on poll day is being extended on polling day. Beside the said steps, measures need to be made to see that one polling station per Assembly segment of Parliamentary constituency should be set up that is entirely manned by various categories of PwDs, and the DEOs were told to report to CEO office by April 5.
Sign language experts would also be positioned at District Control Rooms for redressal of grievance of hearing impaired voters, display of voter facilitation posters at all polling stations to disseminate information. Wherever the voting percentage of PwD voters was low in the previous Assembly elections, aggressive awareness campaign on importance of voting and disseminating the facilities on poll day to PwDs should be taken up, the CEO instructed the officials.