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Making Elections Accessible for Persons with Disabilities

Shishu Sarothi’s Disability Law Unit (DLU-NE) partnered with the Election Department, Government of Assam to conduct a series of training and sensitisation programs on ‘Accessible Elections’. The goal of this collaboration was to realise and create awareness on the Election Commission of India’s theme for 2018-19 – ‘No Voter To Be Left Behind’. 

Shishu Sarothi’s Disability Law Unit conducted sensitisation programs across 8 zones in the state of Assam namely Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Karbi Anglong, Silchar and Goalpara. These programs saw the participation of Election Officials, representatives from NGO’s working in the region as well as persons with disabilities.

Such training and sensitisation programs are of utmost importance for concerned stakeholders involved in the electoral process to understand and encourage the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities which finds special mention in Election Commission of India’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2025. Also, the National Voters’ Day celebrated on 25th January this year was themed around “Accessible Elections” which makes it imperative that such programs be conducted in view of the upcoming General Election in the country.

India being the largest democracy in the world with ‘Right to Vote’ enshrined in our Constitution, ‘Accessible Elections’ is the need of the hour. Hence, keeping in view the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Act 2016, these programs are an encouragement for persons with disabilities to come out and cast their votes, stakeholders understand their very importance in electoral processes and bringing about greater awareness among people on rights of persons with disabilities.