3,615 specially abled voters to exercise franchise in Kathua District
STATE TIMES NEWS
KATHUA: In a unique exercise District Administration Kathua in collaboration with Election Department, Social Welfare Department and District Red Cross Society has identified 3,615 specially abled or physically handicapped voters in five Assembly Segments under Rehbar Scheme of SVEEP campaign Matdaan Mahaotsav to ensure facilitated participation and exercise of franchise by 100 per cent of such voters. Apart from this, more than 2,000 voters aged 75 years and above have been identified to provide them assistance to reach the polling stations and back to their homes.
During a survey conducted by the administration a month back it was found that not more than 10 per cent of such voters turn up for electoral participation and election campaign also they do not form cohesive vote bank hence are left out of the electoral process. In first week of October a drive was launched through 625 Booth Level Officers and Polling Booth Area Teams (PBATs) for door-to-door survey to identify such voters so as to organise facilities for them including deployment of assistants, transportation and priority at the polling booth.
After a comprehensive identification process all such voters are being provided with one assistant each appointed by Assistant Returning Officers indicating their contact numbers. The process is being supervised by District Election Officer, Returning Officers, Zonal and Sector Magistrates in the district. Administration is targeting identification of 100 per cent specially abled and 75+ voters and working for their 100 per cent electoral participation.
District Election Officer, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary informed that idea behind this mammoth exercise was to ensure electoral inclusion of such excluded groups and to give them a feeling of belonging towards democratic system in the country. “We have tried to reach out to every household to identify such voters through BLOs, PBATs, Sarpanchs, Panchs, Lamberdars, Chowkidars and other stake holders through a series of meetings organised over a period of two months” he added.
The DC along with Addl DC Prasanna Ramaswami, ACR Suraj Parkash Rukwal, ARO Kathua Anshul Garg, ROs Gurmukh Singh, Anwar Bandey and Rajiv Charak devised “Manual of Specially Abled/75+ Voters and Assistants Appointed” and “Facilitation Plan” which will be provided to Zonal / Sector Magistrates for monitoring 100 per cent participation of such voters on poll day. District Red Cross Society headed by Deputy Commissioner is in process of generating resources for supporting this unique project.