PWD voters rise from 90k to 4 lakh in 5 years

Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago | 24-11-2022 | 06:00 am

PWD voters rise from 90k to 4 lakh in 5 years

Thanks to efforts of the Election Commission, the number of registered voters who have one or the other form of disability has risen from 90,000 in 2017 to 4 lakh in 2022.The rise in registration of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) doesn’t mean they were not voting earlier or there’s a sudden rise in their numbers. Sources said, “There must be at least 16 lakh people with disabilities in Gujarat. The efforts of flagging and registering them has led to an increase in their numbers as registered voters.” Joint Chief Electoral Officer AB Patel said, “Thanks to various awareness programmes, campaigns, BLO visits and PWD app, their registrations have increased. The Social welfare department has also helped flag them.”Dangs saw the lowest registration in all categories of PWD. It saw registration of 193 visually-impaired, 72 speech or hearing impaired, 737 locomotive disability and 387 in other disabilities.Tapi is the second lowest in visually impaired registrations at 217, 1,203 in locomotive disability and 523 in other disabilities. Tapi also saw the second lowest registration in males with 1,445 voters.Sources said, “Dang district is a tribal belt. It clearly indicates that there is a need to spread more awareness there. It is voluntary to register as PWD on the app. It is a good exercise for citizens to declare themselves as PWD. It will help to frame beneficial schemes for PWDs if they are visible. The services and facilities for PWDs like wheelchair, stick, and Braille voter-slips have increased over the years.” Ahmedabad Collector Dhaval Patel said, “Ahmedabad saw 6,487 registrations in PWD in 2017 whereas in 2019 it saw 19,609. This time 139 have filled the form to vote from home.”Jayanti Patel, a 68-year-old Gandhinagar resident, said, “I am 100% visually-impaired. A BLO visited my house and registered me as a PWD after seeking the total blindness certificate. I was offered a vehicle to reach the polling booth. I am glad voting has become easier for people like me.”Budhlal Patel, a 51-year-old Limkheda resident, registered himself on the PWD app. He said, “I asked for a wheelchair and walking stick in the polling station as I have a locomotive disability of 80%. EC has undertaken good initiatives.”

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