Civic bodies in constituencies across Mumbai and Thane followed Supreme Court order and set up facilities for the physically challenged, but did a very shoddy job. And we captured this in Navi Mumbai. Sana Warsia reports. Mumbai and Thane were expected to adhere to the Supreme Court order that made ramps and other arrangements for differently-abled voters at polling booths mandatory. But they local civic administration failed to do their jobs. The worst perhaps was Navi Mumbai where none of the five facilities to be made for disabled persons were made. These included ramps, railings, braille, lifts if the booth was not on the ground floor and lastly polling staff was even asked to be more helpful. Disabled persons who faced difficulty say that the government is wasting so much money on advertisements requesting people to vote. They say that instead the government should spend some money creating facilities for physically challenged people. As a result of this apathy Lok Sabha elections 2009 has turned out to be another year of general elections when most disabled persons were either not able to exercise their right to vote or exercised it with great difficulty. NMTV Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ravi Subbaiah speaks on how challenging it is for physically challenged persons to vote. Further he says that the local administration should have conducted a survey of persons with disabilities living in every constituency and said that he hoped the local administration will not repeat their follies next time. We also spotted another resident of Vashi and a person with disability who shared his experience of casting his right to vote in absolutely hostile conditions making polling booths literally inaccessible for them. It may be recalled that in the year 2007, the Supreme Court had asked the Election Commission to make voting process disabled friendly and even Election Commission had intended to do the same but the local administrations failed to take serious note of this. And as a result even in these general elections, persons with disabilities could not get easy access to polling booths or cast their vote in hospitable conditions for any disabled person. Though everything else looked smooth, on this front authorities not miserable failed but are responsible for inequality and injustice to persons with disabilities. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Sana Warsia – NMTV News.
November 22, 2015
March 9, 2018