Mr. Vijay Dev (IAS), Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi invited AADI (NGO) Nidhi, Muskaan (NGO), other 7 Disabled Group and Mr. Anuj Jain, Joint Secretary of National Association of the Deaf attended the meeting on 13th March, 2014 at Chief Electoral Officer, Kashmiri Gate, Delhi for accessible for polling stations upcoming Lok Sabha General Election in Delhi on 10th April, 2014.
Summary of discussions noted down:
Many disabled people were unable to access polling stations for booths. There was no assistance for ramps for wheelchair users, some personal assistance, no signage, no posters showing for deaf people. Disabled persons demanded Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi that they should provide accessible for every disabled persons enter in the polling stations. There will be 2473 Polling Stations in Delhi including 11700 Polling Booths. Mr. Vijay Dev (IAS), Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi said, "Motto is clear - this election 2014 must be a historiacally different and pleasant, big challenge. Mindset problem-biggest challenge must change mindset of electoral officer. What must do - how do we train them? We trained for electoral management procedural. Disability should become integral. What should be the curriculum? We must have qualified people. Interface down the level. All must be sincere and sensitive to disabled persons till lowest level of officer. We will have zero tolerance of complaints about our officials. We will audit them. And behaviour modification. Infrastructure - wheelchair, ramp, other facilities but need sensitized people. We want to learn from you. what should be the training elements? Please help prepare curriculum. 2nd Issue - physical logistics & hardware on paper instructions for ramp have been there. Is it done at 100% at every places? All categories of disabilities for signages, handouts, seamless travel, outside gate may be closed. Also for management there is a pole which can make a problem. We will all be a team. Best possible - pleasant experience. First limitation - electoral rolls don't have any categorization. Please provide us list of people who are disabled. We want to flag them. Basic minimum facilities - components of this that do you suggest. We have 2534 locations for polling in Delhi. Fort the first time it will be done in India. Locomotor disability - person who able to enter. We must do the audit. MCD engineer says, I have done it but must have audit. Signage - we should ensure. Make a template for basic facilities. We don't have much time. Actionable things - so we can achieve this objective. At the end of meeting we should have action plan on logistics & human resource development. We have hardly 20 days left. Financial resources are important. Social welfare dept from Delhi govt can help. How many disabled are there? They can tell us. Auditing can be done by social welfare dept. We will do 5-10 and give you feedback. Give the list of polling stations. They can choose among the list. We are here for this purpose. Without you people we could not do. When disabled are there, the feedback is taken seriously. There must be a template. Your specialization are you can make the template. We have everything ready. Polling station is prepared in 3 days. Finances & logistics will not be a problem. Let's us be clear. We will tell the govt agencies. You be the third party audit. Delhi Election is accessible to blind, wheelchair persons, mental retarded persons, deaf persons etc. Three problems - attitudual barrier can't tackle now. This long term but we most start. Training is there we can give the training. We will hold people accountable.. People who do mischief we will handle them. Physical access is very important for disabled people. For audit need visual, orthopaedic, and deaf people to do the audit. Simulation exercise must be conducted. Separate category will be there. Training - special education has knowledge."