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Goa disabled promised better fare while voting


Panaji : Senior citizens and handicapped electors in Goa will be cared for during the June 2 assembly elections. And for the blind, there will be Braille-enabled electronic voting machines.

According to the Election Commission, special ramps will be provided to the physically handicapped and the elderly. They also would not have to be in queues with the other public to vote.

Campaigners for disability rights in Goa had earlier presented a "manifesto" of their own for the coming polls.

Among their demands were a separate department for the welfare of the disabled; an office of the department in south Goa; 5 percent reservation in government jobs for the disabled; and the filling up of backlog of vacancies.

Also sought were reservations in panchayats, municipalities and the assembly. The Disability Rights Association of Goa (DRAG) also demanded a full-time State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.

DRAG president Avelino de Sa said they had written to all political parties, and sought assurances over these issues.

It was announced here in March that new electronic voting machines (EVMs) enabled with Braille for the blind would be used for the first time in the state during the assembly election.

Goa's old 1,400 EVMs are to be replaced with 1,500 Braille-enabled EVMs. Goa has 476 polling stations.

Goa has an estimated 25,000 disabled, many of whom struggle due to lack of facilities, according to campaigners.

Elections are to be held June 2. Counting will take place June 5.