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  1. On the occasion of National Consultation on Accessible Elections organised on July 3rd & 4th July, 2018, an exhibition was setup by Election Commission of India showcasing the journey of elections in India, the largest democracy in the world. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat and Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, marking the beginning of the proceedings. The exhibition comprised two sections: 1. Unfolding Indian Elections: India has been able to uphold its democracy, through the ebb and flow of the political and security challenges. Proving its detractors wrong, the country has survived the crisis that befell on many Asian and African nations in post-colonial era. A large measure of credit goes to the free and fair elections. They have reflected people’s will and provided for seamless transition of power at the Centre and States. 2. SVEEP initiatives: Recent SVEEP initiatives & endeavours were showcased including the new initiatives for PwDs.Following are the snippets from the exhibition showcasing the stepping stone of this journey. Model Polling Booth A Model Polling Booth was set-up during the two days National Consultation on Accessible Elections. The Consultation saw the participation of more than 50 Civil Society Organizations and all the Chief Electoral Officers of States/UTs besides members of National Political Parties and Ministries, Government of India and media. The motive of the Model Polling Booth was to familiarise the stakeholders with the process of voting and related aspects. Persons with Disabilities were motivated to take up the Mock Poll and provide the feedback which was further incorporated in the recommendations. The National Consultation on Accessible Elections was the culmination of more than 3month long series of District-Level and State-Level Workshops undertaken as a part of ECI’s theme for 2018- Accessible Elections, to identify barriers in the inclusion of PwDs in the electoral process, assess the present accessibility policies in place and put forward recommendations for addressing barriers to enhance the participation of the differently-abled.
  2. Election Ujjain Team

    124 001

    From the album: Ujjain activities

  3. By Priyanka Mary Francis, DEO Udupi Slogan for 2018 election is centered on acronym - IAE – ‘Inclusive, Accessible and Ethical’. In this background the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, efforts were made to prepare the list of Persons with Disabilities(PwDs) - polling station wise, and on the type of difficulties – visually impaired, physically challenged, hearing impaired, from November 2017. To enroll, educate and to facilitate these special category of voters to cast their vote, a training programme was conducted for Rehabilitation Volunteers, heads of special schools and hostels. Officials were informed to arrange a Helpline well in advance that takes care of transportation to and from voters residence, wheel chair facility for movement around the polling station on the day of poll. On April 18, 2018 a special training programme was organized by SVEEP committee for visually impaired persons to educate on ethical voting. Mr. Deekshit, himself a visually impaired person, administered the Braille scripted oath to the participants. To impart the hands-on skills on EVMs and VVPAT a technical session was also arranged. On the lines of the saying “Just because a person lacks the use of one’s eyes, doesn’t mean that person lacks vision” Mr. Pakeerappa another visual PWD gave an account of his feelings on this issue. On the same lines, Mrs.Prameela, a special school teacher, educated the speech and hearing impaired persons using sign language. The participants –Naveen, Ganesh, Prashanth, Niranjan, Fairoz took active part in the programme with lot of enthusiasm. Para gliding,boating and cultural events were organized for these specially-abled persons at Malpe Beach on the same evening. To facilitate the easy movement of physically disabled voters around the polling localities, 555 wheel chairs were collected from private and public hospitals, NGOs and village panchayats. Volunteers drawn from NSS, NCC, and Scouts and Guides, Ranger-Rovers were kept ready to assist them. Magnifying lenses were provided at 336 polling stations. Whenever the PWDs were not able to have their own transport facility, village panchyats provided such a facility on preplanned demand. A unique feature of the polling station No 81 at 119 Kundapur constituency, is that all the polling staff were PWDs. All these officials volunteered to perform their duty on the often quoted line “Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” In this polling station, ramp, wheel chair, walker, walking stick, blind stick, toilet for specially-abled persons, magnifying glass, pendals for shade, drinking water, seating arrangement, medical and volunteer assistance were specially arranged. Mr. Neetish, a PWD, who is working in a private organisation,has appreciated the initiatives of the election commission. He also recollected the pains he used to undergo in the past. Similarly Deepa Shetty and Nagendra appreciated the provision of magnifying glass in the polling booths. Mr. Manjunatha, Hearing impaired Aged about 45 Years, Son of Bedu Devadiga was guided to vote by special school teacher Mrs.Prameela in sign language. Candidates name, photo, symbol, voting method, details on VVPAT communicated by the teacher. After this learning process, the confident Mr. Manjunath became very happy and voted on his own.After the voting he expressed his happiness by sign language.He was happy about the facilities provided by the administration for the Pwd voters for the first time. His contentment about voting was really a lesson for “so called” educated, modern people who are reluctant to involve in the democratic process. All these happy examples laid a milestone in the history of Udupi District and definitely gave the message that “Never ignore somebody with a disability, you don’t realize how much they can inspire you”
  4. Padma Angmo

    THE SILENT BALLOT

    by Shri. Frederick RoyKharkongor, Chief Electoral Officer, Meghalaya. The village of Kongthongin Meghalayas East Khasi hills perched on an adjoining ridge is known far and wide, as the village where its residents, are identified not with their names, but through various musical whistles and sounds. It is strikingly ironical that just across the hill,and in stark contrast,lays the village of Massar, known as a ‘silent village’, with its 87 households, being either,partially or completely deaf.In the year of Accessible Elections, 2018, this was what drew us to visit the village,in an effort to better understand their lives. We wanted to make Elections truly accessible to each and every voter,and perhaps make an “unheard” election “heard”. Massar nestles in a mountain crevice en-route to Pynursla Sub Division, about 35 kilometres from the State Capital Shillong. The village is accessed by a steep winding road that twists and turns, through deep mountains, and is not too far away from the country’s southward borders with Bangladesh atDawki. To reach Massar, one has to fork off the road that leads tothe rain soaked mountains of Cherrapunjee. Soon we foundourselves at the village Headman’s house. The young Headman and his Secretary shared with us at length a detailed account of how over 87 households belonging to the Nongsteng clan have remained silent for generations together for the past 100 years. Interestingly, he revealed that there are two groups of people amongst the Nongsteng Clan – The “hearing group” – Nongstengsngewand the “deaf group” Nongstengkyllut, living on two different hills. He mentioned that 87 households from amongst the village residents are dominated by the Nongsteng “deaf group”. It is pointed out thatmost of the children in the age bracket 0-6years are at various stages of hearing impairment. Records of some NGOs working in the village reveal that this community of hearing impaired numbersabout 90 persons, including 42 children. The village elders also pointed out that with deafness often comes the inability to speak. When prodded on the reasons, the village elders, in the absence of any logical explanations,accounted the genetic handicap to a legend that deafness descended on the clan due to a curse of having eaten the ‘DohkhaSyiem – the queen of fishes’. This perhaps, is but a small subset amongst the many reasons, behind this all pervasive and continued affliction. Mist woven hills overlooking the Headman’s House We next moved to the Dorbar Hall where we were scheduled to interact with the challenged community,and soon enough,come face to face with them to understand how we could make tangible efforts at making‘Accessible Elections’ not only truly accessible but also truly inclusive. We soon realised, that not even the village elders could communicate directly or intelligibly with them, and it required an intrepid young lady Batimon Nongsteng a member of the Nongstengkyllut clan, to act as the bridge and a vital link between us and them. It was through Batimon, that the Nongsteng voters about 35 of them, some of them profoundly deaf, some partially, could vocalise their thoughts through signs and shrill syllables, perhaps residual remnants in the mind of what they had managed to learn, when they were little. Batimon shared with us, that to survive, some have learnt to lip-read, whereas a large many have floundered. We asked them whether they knew about elections or whether elections remained unheard. BatimonNongsteng –our bridge to the deaf using sign language and lip reading As Batimon motioned her fingers and lips in their direction through a unique combination of sign language and lip-reading, many of them raised their hands to indicate in the affirmative. The ERO of the assembly constituency however remarked that perhaps many of the women here continued to grapple with silence, at a time when elsewhere, the poll campaign would have reached a crescendo through loud jingles, bands, songs and speeches. Asked about how they responded to political campaigns, we were informed that they diligently followed messages received on their mobile phones, which even in their respective day to day lives is an indispensable tool for enabling them to communicate and negotiate their existence. We were told that as the aurally impaired amongst this community are mainly women, often it is a male member who would guide his female relatives through sign language on the voting process. Interactions with about 35 genetically deaf voters of the Nongsteng clan in the Dorbar Hall Massar Batimon expressed that across the village, silence hangs like a heavy curtain, and interpersonal communication is relegated to lip-reading and basic sign language. She confessed that when the village votes, even the beep of the electronic machine is often lost onmost ofthese women. When we explained, that the Election Commission has designated 2018 as the year of Accessible Elections,with a special focus on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) like themselves, and that the purpose of our visit is to better understand their difficulties and challenges and to communicate to them personally that we will be creating special facilities for their enrolment and voting, it took only a moment’s gap for comprehension and soon,all present collectively break into a smile which drifted across like a hopeful haze. The mood of the room further transformed, as we announce that one of theirs,BatimonNongsteng will be appointed as a Special Booth Level Officer for PwDs of Massar Polling Station under 27-Pynursla (ST) AC, with the specific role to assist the PwDs in enrolment in the electoral rolls, to facilitate them during polling, and to also act as facilitator of the PwDs in all election matters, including issues concerning their welfare in connection with their participation in the electoral process. Sign languages, embodying applause, quickly follows when we announce that as part of Assured Minimum Facility (AMF), priority voting,and continued endeavours to ensure the presence of specially trained volunteers, would be made available for them in all future elections. To end this unique interaction, a vote of thanks was proposed by a young hearing impaired girl who recently passed her matriculation from St. Fernando, a leading speech and hearing impaired institution of the state. As we exited, the community appeared delighted to shake hands with the election team and to have their photographs takenbefore we made our way back to the State capital. We hope that withthese multiple efforts,to expand inclusive elections to the previously excluded, Massar village, withBatimonNongsteng as special BLO, will act as a new harbinger of change so that Massar will no longer be impervious to the festival of democracy. The hope and the challenge is to transform the ‘unheard that is not only heard loud and wide but is also experienced in manner that resonates in its entirety the Election Commission’s motto – ‘No voter to be left behind’. The CEO, Addl. CEO, ERO, AERO and Election Team pose with the Nonsteng hearing impaired voters at Massar Village
  5. CEO Manipur

    I CAN MAKE A CHANGE

    Print campaign by Thoubal district of Manipur
  6. Version 1.0.0

    22 downloads

    THINK INK - Electoral Awareness film created by NGO Trinayani for CEO Maharashtra with support from Hashu Advani college of Special Education to urge Persons with Disability (PwD) to register themselves in electoral roll and cast their vote in the forthcoming general elections.
  7. Version 1.0.0

    12 downloads

    THINK INK - Electoral Awareness film created by NGO Trinayani for CEO Maharashtra with support from Hashu Advani college of Special Education to urge Persons with Disability (PwD) to register themselves in electoral roll and cast their vote in the forthcoming general elections.
  8. THINK INK - Electoral Awareness film created by NGO Trinayani for CEO Maharashtra with support from Hashu Advani college of Special Education to urge Persons with Disability (PwD) to register themselves in electoral roll and cast their vote in the forthcoming general elections.
  9. Commission has directed that during ongoing special summary revision, special camps may be organized for PwDs on weekends on such locations where they can easily approach and inspect the draft roll or submit their claims and objections in a hassle free manner. These locations can be Schools for Blinds, schools for Deaf, Leprosy centres etc. Special arrangements may be made to aid such electors during the camps such as providlng the services scribes, deployment of staff conversant with sign language and other basic amenities. Advance Publicity may be made for such camps,dates & venue. ERoll_11102018.pdf
  10. Shirish Mohod

    Accessible Election

    Version 1.0.0

    5 downloads

    Film on Accessible Election launched on National Voters' Day 2018. Publicity material prepared and showcased in Maharashtra
  11. Version 1.0.0

    105 downloads

    Sign Language Instructions for Polling Officers for facilitating PwD electors at Polling Station.
  12. Version

    270 downloads

    The Strategic Framework on Accessible Elections is built around sensitization through education and training, community involvement of different sections of society, effective partnership with institutions and originations and creation of facilities to cater to the specific needs of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) with a view to increasing their participation. The Framework was adopted on 4th July 2018 in the National Consultation on Accessible Elections
  13. Version 1.0.0

    5 downloads

    Poster with messages from our district PwD icons

About Us

Logo ELCSystematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) is a programme of multi interventions through different modes and media designed to educate citizens, electors and voters about the electoral process in order to increase their awareness and participation in the electoral processes. SVEEP is designed according to the socio-economic, cultural and demographic profile of the state as well as the history of electoral participation in previous rounds of elections and learning thereof.   

Election Commission of India

ECIThe Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok SabhaRajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act

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