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Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)(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.
Uttar Pradesh (Year-2014)
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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.
Jammu and Kashmir (Year-2014)
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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.
Tamil Nadu (Year-2016)
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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.
Uttar Pradesh (Year-2017)
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)Divyang Doli in Rudraprayag Divyang Doli was initiated to facilitate PwD voters, for around 232 voters spread across 133 polling stations, it was a helping hand for voters with disabilities who could not walk to the polling station on their own. Volunteers were roped in to assist persons with disabilities to reach the polling station and cast their vote with ease.
Himachal Pradesh (Year-2017)
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)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.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)Reaching out to the Visually Impaired Enrolment Programs were held at organisations working with PwDs in Ahmedabad like Blind People’s Association, Prakash, Uthan Talim Kendra etc. 8236 PwD voters identified through BLO survey, which is highest in the state. To appeal to them, two Pwd Icons in the district are identified. SVEEP activities like Voter Awareness Tricycle Rally by PwD Voters were organised along with the other awareness campaigns.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)Divyang Polling Station of Panaji In tune with the Election Commission’s intent to make the election process more inclusive and to encourage differently abled voters to exercise their franchise, it was decided to declare one of the polling stations in 11- Panaji AC as a Divyang Polling Station. This polling station was managed entirely by staff, including the Presiding Officer, who are differently abled. Special efforts were taken to identify such staff from the various government departments. The willingness of the officials were sought and two groups were formed – one for the duties on the day of poll and one reserve. Special training was given in two rounds for these personnel and their feedback was taken in order to make provisions for their specific requirements at the polling stations so that they have a comfortable experience. This initiative was widely appreciated by the national and local media and NGOs working for the differently abled. The Divyang Polling Station had a large voter turnout. In addition to this, special efforts were made to identify differently abled voters in each Polling Station Area through house to house verification by BLOs and Sector Officers. Accordingly, transport facilities through the vehicles of Sector Officers were made available on the day of poll to the differently abled. More wheelchairs were provided in polling stations were a larger number of differently abled voters were expected to cast their votes.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)The Silent Ballot – Massar The village of Kongthong in 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, lies the village of Massar, known as a “silent village’’, with its 87 households, being either, partially or completely tone deaf and hearing impaired. In the year of Accessible Elections, this feature drew the election officials towards the village, in an effort to better understand and to make Elections truly accessible to each and every voter, and to perhaps make an “unheard” election “heard”. With a view to penetrate these impervious circles, the officials soon found themselves at the village Headman’s house. The young Headman and his Secretary shared a detailed account of how over 87 households belonging to the Nongsteng clan have remained silent for generations together for the past 100 years. He revealed that there are two groups of people amongst the Nongsteng Clan – The “hearing group” – Nongsteng Sngew and the “deaf group” Nongsteng Kyllut, living on two different hills. He mentioned that 87 households from amongst the village residents are dominated by the Nongsteng “deaf group”. It was pointed out that, most 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 numbers about 90 persons, including 42 children. The officials personally interacted with the community members to understand ways to make tangible efforts at making Accessible Elections not only truly accessible, but also inclusive, for each and every eligible voter from amongst them. A young lady Batimon Nongsteng a member of the Nongsteng kyllut clan, acted as a vital link on communication between the two parties. 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. Batimon shared that to survive, some learnt to lip-read, whereas a large many floundered. On enquiring about elections 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 how they responded to political campaigns, the members revealed that they diligently followed messages, received on their mobile phones, which even in their respective day to day lives is an indispensible tool for enabling them to communicate and negotiate their challenged existences. The officials were told that as the hearing 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. Across the village, silence hangs like a heavy curtain, and interpersonal communication is relegated to lip-reading and basic sign language. When the village votes, even the beep of the electronic machine is often lost on most of these women. Painstakingly, it was communicated that the Election Commission has designated 2018 as the year of Accessible Elections, with a special focus on People With Disabilities (PWDs) like themselves, and that the purpose of the visit was to better understand their difficulties and challenges, and that the Commission will be creating special facilities for them, for their enrolment and voting, to help them. No sooner were these messages comprehended that the community collectively broke into a smile which drifted across like a hopeful haze. The affirmative message of Accessible Elections, cut a steady and hope filled path through the silence, and the collective handicaps experienced by this community soon transformed into hope, as it was announced that one of theirs, Batimon Nongsteng has been 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 facilitators of the PWDs in all election matters, including all other issues concerning their welfare in connection with their participation in the Electoral Process. Sign languages, embodying applause, quickly followed when it was announced 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.
Madhya Pradesh (Year-2018)
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)Preparing ahead of MP State Legislative Assembly Elections 2018 With elections scheduled for later in 2018, the State is determined to stand true to the theme of the year on ‘Accessible Elections’. Until now, Madhya Pradesh has taken the following measures - Educated and sensitized PwDs have been made Campus Ambassadors for motivating PwDs. Educated deaf and dumb PwDs are being motivated to work as BLOs. In Bhopal, Ujjain, Indore and Jabalpur districts, BRTS bus-stops have been made PwD-friendly and facilities like toilets, drinking water, ramps, shades etc, have been provided for their smooth transit and participation. Dummy ballot papers for visually impaired voters have been prepared and successfully used in the State Bye-Elections. A visually- challenged Professor, Dr. Rohit Trivedi associated with the Government Sarojini Naidu Autonomus Girls College, Bhopal has been identified as State Icon.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)The theme and focus of SVEEP, Karnataka has been “Inclusive, Accessible and Ethical Elections”. All efforts were thus made to enhance the registration and voting of PwDs. Celebrities like Bharat Ratna awardee Prof CNR Rao, Rahul Dravid, Jnanpith awardee Dr Chandrasekhar Kambar, Ashwini Angadi, Girish N. Gowda- a para Olympian and others were roped in as State Icons. In an effort to promote participation by PwDs, 26 Polling Stations were opened and fully manned by PwDs. 388 Polling Personnel with Disabilities contributed in polling station and election-related work across the State. Special camps were organized for registration of PwDs. Campaign resources including videos, films, posters and banners featuring Icons were effectively used in cinema halls, malls, print, electronic and social media to create awareness among the target group. Special postage stamp on the theme of inclusiveness were released and a special registration and voting guide for the visually impaired in Braille script was widely distributed. The Chief Electoral Officer, sent out Personalized letters in Braille to 1000 visually-impaired voters. A special software for reading WhatsApp and other social media messages was devised. The State observed an improved turnout amongst its PwD voters as a result of its dedicated efforts.
Election Commission of India posted an article in Domestic Good Practices (PwDs)Efforts in Hoshiyarpur In accordance with the Election Commission of India’s mantra “No Voter to be Left Behind”, Hoshairpur District focused on ensuring that in the coming Assembly Election, all the Persons with Disability cast their franchise and they should not be deprived from this exercise due to the difficulty in travelling to the Polling Booth. In addition to the usual procedure of Identification and mapping, special efforts were made to improve the voting percentage of PwDs. Various steps are targeted in this direction to ensure availability of assistive aids at polling booths so that all the PwD voters not only get motivated to participate in election process but also can vote easily, safely and with dignity. Rallies at block level were organised regarding the SVEEP activities and approximately 356 volunteers with voter’s consent were deputed for PwD voters. Polling Booth Level micro planning & mapping of each PwD voters which needs the wheel chairs or any other assistance was incorporated. Volunteers were not only just enrolled but they were trained also (all of them were registered as First time Voters and belonged to family of respective PwD Voter) to facilitate the every PwD voters for voting with inter-sector cooperation of Health Department thus ensuring that every PwD voter has dedicated motivator cum assistant. Moreover, on National Immunization Pulse Polio Round a special message was conveyed by the frontline workers 30 Making Elections Accessible regarding the PwD voters to cast their vote easily, safely and fearlessly. Also, on January 25, 2017 voter day celebrated at block level where as all the PwD voters were invited personally by special invitations and were motivated to cast their vote. Special needs of the PwD voters were catered with proper management. Availability of wheel chairs at booth level to the PwD Voters was ensured. Provision of emergency service was maintained at Dispensaries, CHC’s, and SDH & Distt. Hospital during the polling days. All above efforts resulted in 92% turn-out of PwD voters during Assembly Elections-2017 which is again the best performance in the state for ensuring Most Inclusive Voting till date. How SBS Nagar achieved 90% polling by PwDs The District Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar has added a new feather in its cap by bringing the PwD Voters into the main stream of democratic process by ensuring 90% PwD Voter polling during the recently concluded Assembly polls in the state. The District Health Department was entrusted with task of identification of the eligible Persons with Disabilities who have not been enrolled as voters so far. The District Health Department, working on the micro plan prepared for the PwD voters, mobilized the SMOs, MOs, ASHA, ANM, MPHW (M) and MPHF (F) workers to identify and educate the PwD voters for their participation in electoral process. With a view of giving a concrete shape to the well planned program on PwD voter participation, the district administration also identified the availability of wheel chairs and deputed 356 volunteers for making it convenient for the PwD voters to exercise their franchise. District Administration dedicatedly put its efforts to mobilize PwD voters by organizing seminars, awareness rallies etc. for voters awareness in general and establishing personal rapports with the PwD voters in particular in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Nehru Yuva Kendra organised “Jago”, “street plays” and “Candle Marches” in different villages as part of SVEEP activities. Special emphasis was laid on mobilizing PwD voters Making Elections Accessible 31 during the campaign. Besides, identifying the PwD voters, the requirement from the PwD voters for making it convenient for them to cast their vote, were also taken care off on the day of polling. Individual letters were sent to each PwD voter soliciting them to vote and also allocate volunteers to bring and assist them to their respective polling booths. National Voter Day 25th January 2017 totally dedicated to the PwD voters and special invitation was given by District Election officer to each PwD voter during this function. Hence, after excluding the dead voters, the effective PwD count stands at 1455, out of which as many as 1307 exercised their franchise. 90% PwD voters participated in the electoral process and made a valuable and inclusive contribution to the franchise Ludhiana’s ECI360 App PwD (Persons with Disabilities) voters were made a special focus area by providing them free pick-up and drop service, along with Youth volunteers who greeted them with rose buds and an invitation letter. State level function held at Ludhiana to encourage and create awareness among physically disabled voters and video clips made to encourage them to come out and vote. Through ECI360 Mobile App, PwD (Person with Disability) can include everyone in the Electoral process; PwD can now request facility to enable them to vote. Request for additional service can be made & monitored online.