GUWAHATI, Oct 12 - The Election Department of Assam, in collaboration with Shishu Sarothi�s Disability Law Unit, conducted a series of awareness programmes with the objective of �Inclusion of persons with disabilities in the electoral process�.
The programmes were held recently in five zones across the State � Goalpara, Silchar, Lakhimpur, Nagaon and Dibrugarh.
�The election officials along with representatives of local NGOs and persons with disabilities took part in the awareness meets. It aimed at creating awareness on the importance of ensuring inclusion of people with disabilities in the voting process,� a statement said.
It also said that in view of the ongoing summary revision of the electoral rolls, the last date for which is October 31, 2018, it is extremely important to create awareness now on the need to include the names of differently-abled voters in the list.
�The entire initiative is a reflection of the Election Commission�s commitment to �leave no voter behind� with special focus on persons with disabilities. It may be noted that the theme of �Inclusion of PwDs� has been given a special focus in the Election Commission�s strategic plan 2016-2025 and �Accessible Elections� has been made the central theme for this year�s National Voters� Day celebrations,� the statement added.
In addition to the guarantee of the �right to vote� in the Constitution, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) Act, 2016, specifically mandates that the Election Commission of India and State Election Commissions ensure that all polling stations are accessible to persons with disabilities and all materials related to the electoral process are accessible to them.
Moreover, the Election Department of Assam today entrusted the Commissioner of Lower Assam Division as the �Roll Observer� for updating the electoral rolls in Dispur, Jalukbari, East Guwahati and West Guwahati Legislative Assembly Constituencies.