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Diiferently abled voters man polling booth in Assam's Goalpara

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Press Trust of India Goalpara
In a first, the Goalpara administration in Assam appointed differently abled personnel in a booth, while also making arrangements to aid voters with disabilities in the other polling stations of the district, during the third phase of elections, an official said.
As part of its initiative to encourage female participation in the voting process, the officials also set up eight pink booths in the district, she said.
"A total of 1,931 differently abled voters were identified for the April 23 polls and transportation arrangements made accordingly to ensure that they get to exercise their franchise without any hassles," District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner Varnali Deka said.
The administration also made provisions for separate queues of senior citizens, the bureaucrat said.
"We sensitised the polling personnel on the special needs of persons with disabilities and the elderly voters and taught them ways to handle the braille ballot papers to assist the visually impaired," she told PTI on Sunday.
More than 800 anganwadi workers were deployed at the 277 booths in the district to assist the voters, she stated.
Deka also noted that one of the booths were successfully manned by differently abled poll personnel.
"All polling officers, including the presiding officer, in that booth had some or the other disabilities. But they did not their disability come in the way of their duties," she said.
The administration had set up four model polling stations in Goalpara, replete with necessary facilities - creche, children's playing zone, clean drinking water, sofa and chairs, she maintained.
"In all eight pink booths, the women personnel were gifted traditional Mekhela-sador as a token on appreciation for their efforts," Deka said.
In keeping with the request of the district administration, several business establishments and restaurants provided complimentary meal and substantial discounts to voters on April 23, during the third and final phase of polls in the state, Deka added.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 3:35 PM IST

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