Ready on their toes, dressed in their school uniform were the NSS (National Service Scheme) volunteers of two government schools at Barwala, who made casting of votes easy for the elderly and differently-abled people on Monday.
At six polling booths at Barwala, as many as 15 NSS volunteer students were deployed at the entrance and exit of the polling booths at the two Government Schools of Barwala.
Lajpat Rai Sharma, a BLO (Block Level Officer), and incharge of the NSS volunteers at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, said, “At six polling booths, there were nine girls, at the Government Girls School, while there were two boys at the Government Boys school. At the girls school, on each booth there were three girl volunteers, while at the boys school, there were two boys at each booth to attend the elderly and disabled voters.”
Nikita, a class XII volunteer, told Chandigarh Newsline, “I am on duty from 7 am to 5 pm. Though as a part of being NSS volunteer we have been asked to perform this duty, but helping the old-aged people and specially the disabled people gives a lot of happiness to me. I assisted an elderly woman today, who had problem in her lower back and she could even stand. It was difficult to take her to the polling booth from the auto rickshaw, but after she cast her vote, she blessed me.”
Lajpat Sharma said that they trained the NSS volunteers for three days before the polling day.
There were many seniors who were given assistance, either in the form of a wheelchair or physical support. Pooja, another volunteer, said, “I learnt a lot from this day-long exercise. Now I know how important it is to help others.’’
Hira Devi, 76, said that she initially thought of not coming to vote as she had difficulty to walk.
“However as I stepped here at the polling station, a young girl came immediately with a wheel chair, and helped me to sit on it. The girl gave me water to drink, and then took me to the booth and remained with me till I left the polling station,”
“It is wonderful to see young boys and girls, caring for people like me, as it is a big support”, added Hira Devi.
Apart from Barwala, NSS volunteers were deployed at various polling booths across Panchkula district.