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CEO presides over meeting of State Steering Committee on accessible elections

A spokesperson of the Election Department informed here today that the meeting of the State Steering Committee on Accessible Elections, formed to make the entire process of the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections-2024 barrier-free for persons with disabilities (PwD), was held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Electoral Officer Manish Garg. Issues related to barrier-free registration and voter participation were discussed extensively in order to provide maximum registration of PwD voters and facilities for them to vote.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said that against the figures of about 67 thousand specially-abled persons in the state, the department has so far identified 55,420 voters and the remaining would also be identified. He said that the list of PwD voters was being provided to BLOs through UDID, pensioners, DWDC (DWO) so that the missing eligible voters could be registered and identified in a timely manner. Anganwadi and Asha workers would also be included in this campaign.

He said that eligible specially abled persons can also get themselves registered through Saksham App. For the convenience of the voters with disabilities, the departmental website has also been prepared according to their accessibility, which was as per the WCAG-2.1 standard.

The Chief Electoral Officer said that materials like videos with Hindi sub-titles, hoardings in sign language etc. were also being prepared for voting awareness of PwD voters in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections-2024. In this context, cooperation would also be obtained from CRC Sundernagar of Mandi district. He said that all the basic facilities prescribed by the Election Commission of India would be provided to the PwD voters as per the appropriate standards at all the polling stations in the state. Special training would be given to polling personnel to make them sensitive to the needs of PwD voters, he added.

The Chief Electoral Officer called upon all the eligible specially abled persons of the state to join the mainstream and ensure their participation in the voting process.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dalip Negi and Neelam Dulta, Additional Director, Social Justice and Empowerment Department, Neeraj Gupta, Deputy Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Devender Sharma, President, Umang Foundation, Ajay Srivastava, Assistant Professor (Special Education), C.R.C. Sundernagar, Manjeet Saini, President, Blind Persons Association, Shobhu Ram, General Secretary National Association of the Deaf, Deepak Sharma, Assistant Professor, RKMV, Shimla (PwD Icon), Ms. Muskan Thakur, Assistant Professor, Botany Anjana Thakur and other officers were also present in the meeting.

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