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Most polling booths not disabled-friendly

People with disabilities might face serious difficulties while casting their vote in the upcoming general elections as a number of polling booths across the Capital neither have accessible washrooms nor reserved parking, an RTI application has revealed.

A 2007 Supreme Court judgment ruled that special facilities need to be put in place to make polling booths more accessible for persons with disabilities.

Not to speak of sign language interpreter, some of the polling booth organisers even replied that they could not entertain people with mental or psychosocial disability as there is no such provision in law, said RTI activist Satendra Singh, a doctor at the University College of Medical Sciences (UCMS) and Guru Tegh Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, Delhi.

Also, there is no record of the number of disabled voters in India or Delhi and no information on complaints and action taken on violations of the Supreme Court's order to provide facilities in polling booths for disabled voters.

While replying to the RTI query of Dr Singh, two assembly constituencies (ACs) 2 and 16 said there were no arrangements for washrooms at all for disabled voters. Ten ACs replied there were arrangements of washrooms but these too were found to be inaccessible for such voters when cross checked by Dr Singh, who himself is a person with disability.

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Country: India
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Source: The Statesman
When: 14/3/2014

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