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  • Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)

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      Uttar Pradesh (Year-2017)

      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%).   Kanpur Nagar: Election with a human touch (2017)    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  
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      Kerala (Year-2016)

      How Kerala made its Elections Accessible    Prior to the Kerala Legislative Assembly Elections, the State doubled its efforts in reaching out to the PwDs in the following ways -  Every district conducted a massive drive to ensure maximum enrolment of PwDs. Permanent Ramps were built in public buildings serving as polling stations.  Directions have been given to District Election Officers (DEOs) to set up temporary ramps wherever construction of permanent ramps is not possible. In order to make space for the entry of wheelchairs of the disabled inside the polling station, wide entrances were ensured.   The disabled are given priority-entry and are not required to wait at the polling queue.  Other facilities like tricycles, wheel chairs, and stretchers are provided in all polling stations.  Additional guidelines through A/V medium are also made widely available.  
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      Puducherry (Year-2016)

      Creating an Accessible Experience    Wide open entrance doors at polling stations, signage and tactile guides in the pathway to polling rooms, wheelchairs, separate queue arrangements, comfortable seating arrangements, easily accessible rest rooms – these are some provision that Puducherry made to create a more accessible election experience for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) .   Student volunteers were drafted to provide one to one service. Well-lit polling stations with large signage, volunteers were arranged for blind electors. Apart from this, a novel web-based initiative called “ENABLED PONDY” having polling station-wise details of PwDs with their EPIC number, the type of disability and kind of assistance required during and before the polling day, telephone number etc, was introduced. Under this- The volunteers made a complete survey to capture the requirements of people with disabilities on the Poll Day.  The web application tagged automatically the particular volunteer to the corresponding persons with disabilities.  Static Volunteers and Mobile Volunteers were drafted. Static Volunteers provided general assistance to all persons with disabilities at the polling station. Mobile Volunteers provided individual transport service to the specific voter with disabilities.    
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      Tamil Nadu (Year-2016)

      An Action Plan for TNLA 2016   In Tamil Nadu, a special campaign for PwDs was organised. Following initiatives were taken. Preparation and collection of polling station wise differently-abled people details. The details include the EPIC card number, the type of disability, the kind of assistance required during and before the polling day and telephone number Use of a dedicated phone number coupled with 1950 to facilitate on call enrolment.  Indication of differently-abled voters in the electoral roll  Braille enabled voter slips  Volunteers to be deployed to facilitate enrolment in orphanages and homes    Activities conducted during Awareness phase    Preparation of volunteers tagging software called as “Enable Pondy by Young Pondy” to offer a basket of services to the differently-abled people by the volunteers including college students, Red Cross Members and NGOs.  Conduct of cultural programmes (constituency-wise) in a phase manner to increase the morale and awareness level of the differently-abled voters.  Conduct of Differently abled Voters Day  Awareness messages in the form of posters and stickers to be Braille enabled.  Video awareness messages shall be prepared with sign language interpretation.  Motivational SMS to all the differently-abled voters every week.  Constitution of differently-abled activist groups to act as volunteers to monitor the implementation of initiatives at the Polling Station level.  Confidence Building Measures (CBM) by distributing awareness material through volunteers.    Polling Day Arrangements:    Provision of permanent sturdy ramp with handrails ( 3” width, gradient of 1:12 to 1:10) , Wheelchair, Wide non-slippery path.  Separate queue for senior citizens and differently abled people, seating arrangements inside the Polling Station.  Ensuring 3 feet wide doorways at the entry and exit points, providing adequate space inside the Poll Station.  Desk and counters at wheel chair accessible height  Ballot sheet and EVMs should be in Braille  Braille Enabled Voters Slips  The table where the EVMs placed shall be of adjustable height  To provide amplifiers for hearing impaired, sign language Interpreters and trained volunteers on the Poll Day Drinking water facility at accessible height  Easily accessible rest rooms, Thank You cards    Specific Initiatives  Sensitisation of BLOs and all election facilities on the importance and sensitivity of addressing the needs of the differently-abled voters was initiated. Website of the Election Department was linked with that of the Social Welfare Department to facilitate data sharing.  
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      Jammu and Kashmir (Year-2014)

      Electoral Inclusion - Participation of “Special Voters”   District administration launched a mission “Rehbar” in collaboration with District Red Cross Society under SVEEP for providing home to booth services for aged, differently abled, aged and informed.   A village wise survey was done and such special voters were identified. A list of 1048 differently voters were drawn and each voter was assigned one assistant from same polling booth area for facilitating movement to and from polling booth. Later, more such voters were added after the scheme was publicizes and additional voters turned up for availing assistance. Tricycles were hired for 43 polling stations, 21 vehicles were pressed into action for ferrying differently abled voters and their nominated attendants. In all 1506 such persons were facilitated to polling booths and back to their residences. In a record of sorts 114 centurions participated in the polls.    Booth Level Officers were provided assistance allowance for managing Palkies and Ponnies in hilly areas for such special needy voters. The survey was earlier done through BLOs and Anganwadi workers in all 259 villages and list of all such voters was drawn which was followed by assigning one persons for assistance to each such voter and providing assistance allowance as well as arrangements.    Special measures were put in place at all 53 Model Polling Stations for special voters and warm welcome was extended besides all services provided for their travel from homes to polling booths. This was made possible through a community based exercise. Out of these 1506 voters 1389 are differently abled or physically handicapped; out of 1389 such voters 986 reported to have never voted citing physical inability as majored reason and in some cases they had not enrolled earlier. Of these 614 were newly enrolled voters however they were already in age group of 25-80 and in some cases beyond that as well. At all 301 Polling stations “Special Voters’ Assistance Booth” was established in addition to general assistance booth and women voters’ assistance booth, to facilitate the special voters.   District achieved 100% participation of differently abled, aged, centurions, sick and infirmed.  
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      Maharashtra (Year-2014)

      State-wide practices   For their election held in 2014, Maharashtra ensured that a few things were taken care of when it came to facilitating the Persons with Disabilities in the State. Across the State, Maharashtra employed the following good practices –  Special camps for awareness and education of PwDs about electoral processes were organized in various districts. Government departments, NSS, NCC, NYKS, Scouts and Guides, and NGOs/CSOs were roped in as partners for the special camps PwD Icons were appointed in various districts to appeal to PwDs and urge them to involve themselves in the electoral process. The State election machinery was sensitized through intensive training programmes that made them ready to handle any situation at hand.  Investment was made in the production and distribution of accessible awareness resources to educate and inform PwDs about electoral processes.   
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      Uttar Pradesh (Year-2014)

      Sitapur - Differently-abled crowned as ‘Loktantra Doot’ (Messengers of democracy)   District Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh took a novel initiative for the differently-abled voters in the District. District Magistrate (DM) and District Election Officer (DEO), Sitapur, took this worth-appreciating enterprise with an aim to motivate the differently-abled to come out and vote during the General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2014.   The strategy to involve the differently-abled was charted out to make them feel as much part of elections and democracy as rest of us. A painting/ poster competition of differently-abled was held at the District headquarters, which witnessed huge participation from all over the District. Titled ‘Mera mat bhi dega lokTantra ko naya aayam aur majbooti’, this competition witnessed a participation of over 4,000 differently-abled. Many of them painted about the rights and duty of differently-abled. The posters showed the differently-abled reaching the booth and voting or a differently-abled smiling as he shows-off the mark on his finger with pride. These posters were then displayed at each polling booth of Sitapur District.   “It feels so good that we have been specially invited by District administration. We are not less than anyone else and we will surely vote,” said Ramlal, who walks to the polling station with an aid. A digital diary of all differently-abled voters was also created containing detail of each differently-abled in the District. The BLO and the District Control room were in touch with them throughout the SVEEP campaigning till the poll day. It was also decided that there would be no-queue for the differently-abled. Focus was given on the families where both the spouse was differently abled. In addition to this, about 3000 differently-abled persons were chosen from the District with each one representing their polling booth. Hence each one of the 3,000 polling booth in the District had a ‘Booth Ambassador’. They were crowned as the ‘Loktantra-doot’ . This added to their prestige and gave them immense confidence. This was followed by a grand ceremony wherein all the 3,000 Loktantra-doot were brought on motorcycles, which were termed as ‘Loktantra- vahan’. The rally of motorcycles with the differently-abled as the pillion-rider drew maximum cheers from the crowd. Then, the Loktantra-doot were further motivated and inspired to turn into emissary for elections by the then CEO of U.P.  
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      Odisha (Year-2013)

      (2013) Inclusion of for Persons with Disabilities (PwD)    According to the 2011 census, India has around 70 million people with disabilities. Election commission made special efforts in provincial elections since 2013 and the national elections to make the elections inclusive and extended extra facilitation for persons with disabilities and also for old and infirm. The Cuttack administration took the challenge of mainstreaming PwD electors and enhancing their participation in the electoral process. A survey of PwDs, conducted through Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) in October-November 2013 wherein 46,989 numbers of PwDs including children, had been enlisted. Out of the above list, PwDs aged above 18 years were shortlisted which numbered 20,208. Single Window Camps for PwDs were conducted in all the Blocks and Urban bodies. In all these camps, an exclusive counter was set up to enrol PwD in the Electoral Roll.    A special meeting was conducted by District Election Officer, Cuttack to draw up an action plan for arrangements to be made for electors with disability. Representative from Association of PwDs was also present. Strategy was evolved with clear tasks; targets, assigned to officers. The District Election Office unanimously set a goal to achieve 100 % voting by PwD electors as a matter of their right. One district level Unit and 14 Block level monitoring controls rooms were opened for the purpose. The Block level control room acted as a Call-Centre. Every PwD voter was called at least thrice over his phone & explained the facilities made available at booths. It was decided to provide at least two volunteers to every polling booth to assist PwDs. Measures like barrier free access to each of the polling stations with construction of permanent or temporary ramps, deployment of Wheel chairs at all booths, disabled friendly furniture in Polling booth, Provision of Signature Guide, Provision of special queue for priority casting of votes, Lay-out Design for Hearing-impaired, Engagement of sign language interpreter for the Hearing Impaired, Printing of Braille Ballot papers were under-taken.   Awareness generation was undertaken through various methods & media. Voters’ Guide in vernacular language, on the voting rights and facilities for PwD voters was distributed. To motivate PwD electors & boost the morale of their family members, Household Contact programme was conducted for 10 days. The Anganwadi workers visited the household of PwD voters & handed over awareness material. The family members were explained regarding the arrangements made to boost their morale. Gathering information about PwDs in the district posed to be one of the huge challenges. The task of reaching out to PwD voters for awareness purposes with a 100% accuracy and efficiency proved to be a tough task. Moreover means of awareness used themselves posed a challenge as the same medium couldn’t be used for every PwD voter. Awareness campaigns, Audio/Video, Print media, Posters, special logistics at the polling booths for the convenience of voters was initiated. The Cuttack administration was able to reach 88.30% of the total PwD population in its district, the highest ever.  

About Us

SVEEPSystematic 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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