Punjab CEO appoints Harman Sidhu and Dr.Kiran Kumari as icons for PWD

March 02, 2019 07:45 PM

CHANDIGARH: With a view to ensure active participation of the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the election process the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab has deputed Ms. Harman Sidhu and Dr. Kiran Kumari as the PWD’s Icon. Ms. Harman Sihdu though physically disable but earned international acclaim for his commendable work in social service similarly Dr. Kiran Kumari is eminent professor working in Punjabi University.

Disclosing this in a press communiqué Dr. S. Karuna Raju, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab said that these prominent personalities have been elected as role icon just to encourage the Person with Disabilities to come forward and play constructive role in the election process. He said as per the figure available up till january 31,2019 we have in Punjab 68551 registered Persons with Disabilities. Out of which 5814 are visually impaired , 4892 are hearing impaired , 39359 are locomotive and 18486 are PWDs of other categories.

He said that initially full data of PWDs having more than 18 years of age was collected then they were categorised vis a vis their particular disability at each polling station. This list was prepared at the level of District Election Officer/ Electoral Registration Officer/ B.L.O with the help of Social Justice and Empowerment Department.

Dr. S. Karuna Raju said that special arrangements have been made to ensure that a PWD has not to stand in the queue to cast their vote. He said PWDs are being educated and encouraged by conducting mobile camps in the state. Similarly the support of institutions like N.S.S, N.Y.K and N.S.S is taken to educate the PWDs in this regard. Likewise the help of the workers of NGOs, Community based organisations, organisations of PWDs and Resident Welfare Organisations is being taken to encourage the PWDs to participate in the election process.

Chief Electoral Officer further said that officers/officials engaged in election process and Police Personnel are also being trained to understand the special needs of the PWDs. Experts in gesticulation and Braille are also put on duty to make thing easy for PWDs.

Dr. Karuna Raju said that to facilitate the visually impaired  voters provision has been made to give information through voice SMS messages, such information includes registration of name as voter, polling station number, place of polling station, number in voter list etc.

He said that it has been ensured that polling stations are set up on the ground floor if not lift facility/ extension of ramp to each floor would be provided. He said that depending upon the number of PWDs among the electors in polling station facility like ramp, tricycle, basic information through audio-video would be made available to the PWDs.

C.E.O further said that a dedicated mobile app to facilitate the PWDs have also been launched through which a PWD may get every type of help from the level of getting himself registered as voter to the process of casting vote. He said that if a PWD require any kind to cast vote he may ask for it through this app.

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