Azamgarh: Booth Dost for PwDs
Special efforts and innovations were made in Azamgarh to strengthen the concept of INCLUSIVE DEMOCRACY.
An intensive survey was done by which 30583 PwDs were listed, the highest in UP. The survey also included the type of disability of the PwDs, their mobile number, epic number etc. A free, offline app was made to reach out to the PwDs. Using this app, a two way communication was established between the BLO and PwDs which helped in filling form 6 and any EPIC related issues.
There are around 650 newly recruited lekhpal in the District who are in their training tenure. They were given the name of BOOTH DOOT and were allotted booths for survey of PwDs. There are around 3461 booths and each lekhpal were given around 5-6 booth for survey. A mock poll session with around 300 PwDs who were facing 6 types of disabilities namely deaf, dump, blind, without hands, legs and muscular dystrophy were invited and had a one to one experience with the EVM machine and a mock booth. It helped them to give a first-hand experience of booth. Distribution of voter slips in braille for the visually impaired voters was arranged. SVEEP Song was made 28 Making Elections Accessible and sung by PwDs to motivate the community and the same was pictured in sign language also for the deaf PwDs.
In addition to that, a tableau for “Inclusive Democracy” was displayed on parade ground on Republic Day and on Valentine Day, as gesture for our love for voting rights and PwDs, a Rose Marathon to promote voter awareness for PwDs was attended by hundreds of PwDs. They were felicitated with Roses during the march.
It was by these efforts that out of 30583 PwDs 21479 actually voted (Around 70%).
For a healthy democracy it is necessary that all the organs of the society participate in its democratic processes. It is failure of a democracy if any of its community fails to participate in the process of electing its representatives. For Uttar Pradesh General Assembly Election 2017, District Kanpur Nagar decided that the upcoming election will be an election with a human touch and special focus will be facilitation of Divyang Voters (PwDs).
The fundamental task to identify Divyang voters started when all BLOs were asked to identify through door to door verification. Later list of 23357 PwD pensioners was taken from PwD welfare department and provided to all BLOs area wise to supplement their search. BLOs could hardly identify around 8000 Divyang people despite repeated efforts. When this did not succeed in city area, employees, Zonal Officers of Municipal Corporation, Civil defence volunteers, ICDS workers were combined in ward wise teams and deployed for door to door survey of PwD people. The purpose was to identify Divyang people by surveying each household and confirming whether their names exist in Voter list or not.
Immediately thereafter the exercise of voter registration of left out Divyang people was started. After registering all the left out voters a control room comprising 10 people was started to feed the details of all Divyang voters AC wise. Special SVEEP activities were carried out with the help of Divyang associations, NGOs, Education departments, NSS and Civil defence. The main emphasis was on awareness rallies, street plays, EVM training and pledge taking.
District level officers of Panchayati Raj, Health, Revenue departments and In charge of NSS, NCC, NYK, Civil defence were called to depute their employees or volunteers as PwD Assistants. They were assigned the responsibility of PwD for smooth voting. These were arranged after a thorough consultation with PwD Associations for their special needs. Auto Rickshaws and E-Rickshaws were used as PwD Rath (Chariot) to carry PwD voters to polling stations.
The result of whole exercise was very overwhelming where in 80.78% PwD voters actually voted in a hassle free manner using all provided facilities
Edited by ECI