Special handholding for the specially abled and other poll stories
Voting day in Goa today and the state made special arrangements to ensure people with special needs were not unconvinced when they stepped out to vote. We also spike to some young voters on their experienceAnd so, the day was upon us. Sunny and clear skied. The day when the people of the country decide to cast their vote and inform the political class of their assessment of their performance. For the state of Goa, it may be just a matter of two seats. But it’s not about those two seats, it is about execution. It is about providing a very good experience for everyone who wishes to cast their vote.
There are the young first voters filled with apprehension and excitement. And then there are those who have done this on numerous occasions and would like a hassle-free experience. And then there are those who are physically or intellectually incapacitated or in the autumn of their lives. Considering all the requirements the state made specific arrangements to ensure individuals with special needs. Taha Haaziq, the State Nodal Officer and State Election Icon for the Disabled, had worked and travelled around the state to ensure every provision promised to the disabled voters who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, intellectually disabled and physically disabled was given. While this journalist waited outside the polling station opposite the ITG office in Altinho, a van with facilities for individuals with special needs drove up. Frederika Menezes, poet and artist who is also diagnosed with cerebral palsy came to cast her vote. The van had a ramp to lower her to the ground. Wheelchairs were present at the station and were being used to help those in need. Avelino de Sa a certified investment consultant and someone with special needs said the government had done an excellent job ensuring people like him did not suffer undue distress while casting their votes. Speaking to the Herald he said “I was on the case of the administration I admit continuously, but they responded immediately”. For Prachi Prabhu a senior citizen the facilities at the polling booth in Panjim was excellent. The ramp had handles on both sides to ensure no mishaps took place. However, like everything in life, nothing is ever hassle free. Frederika Menezes speaking to the media after casting her vote railed against the height at which the voting machine was kept. She said “It is ridiculous that the most important aspect was not taken into consideration. Yes, up to the polling station it was excellent. But why did they not lower the machine so that people like me were not inconvenienced I had to take the assistance of my mother to press the button. Why did that have to happen? However barring a few blips the over all voting experience appeared to be smooth.
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