Special facilities for PwDs

SHILLONG/TURA: The election department has made special arrangements for persons with disabilities (PwDs) in the state so that they cast their votes without any hurdles.
Chief Electoral Officer F R Kharkongor said on Wednesday that Meghalaya has 4686 PwDs with 2540 male and 2146 female voters.
The visually impaired voters are 797 and braille voter slips and EPICs were issued to them. Braille ballot sheets, magnifier sheets and magnifying glasses are also available in all polling stations.
According to Kharkongor, these are all first time initiatives of the election department.
Light after dark, the state’s first visually impaired music band was the disability Icon for the polls.
The CEO said ramps, wheel chairs, poll volunteers, accessible toilets, braille SVEEP materials, special EVM VVPT familiarisation ramps and outreach for PwDS, Meghalaya Sign bank with 114 election terms for hearing impaired were other initiatives.
Meanwhile, the West Garo Hills District Election Officer (DEO) has informed
that special facilities like wheelchairs are being provided to PwDs with locomoter disabilities including old and infirm voters at identified model polling stations and special polling stations under West Garo Hills District.
Poll volunteers belonging to Bharat Scouts and Guides, NSS, NYKS and anganwadi workers will also be utilized to assist the polling officers.
According to a notification, Form 7A- the list of contesting candidates embossed in braille, which is a first of its kind initiative is also being placed to facilitate visually impaired voters at identified polling stations with accessibility in mind.

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