MYAGDI, Nov 26: After hearing continuous pleas of the disabled people, the District Election Office (DEO) of Myagdi has constructed two disabled-friendly polling stations in the district. In every election, people with disability had to struggle a lot for casting their ballots. Fortunately, some of them won't have to go through that difficulty in the parliamentary and provincial elections slated for Sunday.
According to Khemraj Pathak, spokesperson of the District Election Office, a polling booth each at Beni Community Secondary School in Beni Municipality and Dhaulagiri Secondary School in Singal has been made disabled-friendly for the upcoming polls.
"We couldn't make all polling booths accessible to the people with disability as it was not possible due to difficult topography and time constraint," he said. He further informed that separate ramps have been constructed so that disabled people can go to the polling booths along with their wheelchairs.
It is not possible for some disabled people to cast their ballots on their own. In such case, their votes can be misused and their privacy violated. Disabled people always have to search for their companions who will carry them to the polling stations and also help them with the voting process. Considering that difficulty, two of the polling booths of Myagdi have been made disabled-friendly, informed District Election Officer, Kedarnath Poudel.
"We have ensured that people with disability won't have to suffer much to cast votes in other polling booths too," said Poudel. According to him, most of the infrastructures of the community schools have been made disabled-friendly in the recent years, which is likely to benefit a lot of disabled people.
Besides that, people will disability won't have to stay in long queue as in the past. As per the new provision, elderly, disabled and ill people will be given first priority by the poll officers when it comes to voting.
According to Surendra Khatri, chairperson of the Disabled Association, Myagdi, constructing disabled-friendly polling stations is a very positive step that has elated a lot of disabled people in the district.
"We had demanded this for all the polling stations. However, it was not possible but we are happy that they did at least this much for us," he said. With this, he further stated that the government should consider the difficulties faced by disabled people while making every infrastructure.
In Myagdi, there is one constituency for the parliamentary elections and two for the provincial elections. Altogether 74,538 voters are expected to take part in the elections in the district. As many as 72 polling centers and 106 polling stations have been set up in the district.