They have all the laws and rights in the book but when it comes to practice – apathy prevails in the system neglecting persons with disabilities on all fronts. We found out that voting day was no different. To make it a smooth and convenient day for voters during Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission has brought into effect several hi tech methods across the country. On paper, it has even formed rules of how voting centers will be made easily accessible for persons with disabilities but in reality, most of these were not practiced due to which 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.
September 4, 2010