In the run up to the November 2017 election for the State Legislative Assembly, Himachal Pradesh determinedly worked towards motivating PwD electors, facilitating them and ensuring their participation. One of the first tasks accomplished by the State, was the preparation of a database of PwDs with the help of records maintained by the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment/Hospitals and the office of CMOs. The list of PwDs was shared with BLOs so that they could help them in enrolment and subsequent awareness and motivation to participate in the electoral process.
Special modules were developed for PwDs in the form of brochures, audio material etc, with the help of specialized agencies and departments to spread awareness about the electoral process. A Special drive was taken up to enrol PwD students in colleges with the help of Campus Ambassadors.Voter education content was included in the skill development programmes for PwDs run by the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment.Some CSOs regularly conducted vocational training for vision and hearing impaired people. Voter education content for PwDs was made available to these CSOs for inclusion in their trainings.
To inspire the will to vote, young achiever Muskan Thakur- a university student with excellent academic record, visually impaired, was selected as a youth icon to promote voter awareness among the youth. Seeing someone just like them so enthusiastic about the right to franchise, motivated other PwD electors to turn up on the polling stations.
Edited by ECI