Punjab polls: No wheelchair facility at a booth in Dera Bassihttps://indianexpress.com/elections/punjab-assembly-elections-2017/punjab-polls-no-wheelchair-facility-at-a-booth-in-dera-bassi/

Punjab polls: No wheelchair facility at a booth in Dera Bassi

The EC officials at the polling station said that they were not provided a wheelchair for the differently abled.

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Shiv Devi going to cast her vote at Kurli village in Dera Bassi on Saturday. Jaipal Singh

Shiv Devi, a differently abled elderly woman on Saturday afternoon reached the polling booth in Kurli village of Dera Bassi Assembly constituency to cast her vote. To her dismay, when her family members started looking for a wheelchair, they found no such facility was available for the differently abled at the booth. Devi waited for some time inside the car while waiting for a wheelchair. The unavailability of the wheelchair inside the polling station, however, didn’t deter her enthusiasm to vote and she, with the help of family members, got off the car and crawled towards the polling station. After casting her vote, Devi said she “couldn’t let her vote go to waste”.

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The EC officials at the polling station told Chandigarh Newsline that they were not provided a wheelchair for the differently abled. “We don’t know anything about this facility. The returning officer is not here and only he can provide the information. One of the villagers had brought his own wheelchair to cast the vote,” said an EC official.

Several other senior citizens were also taken on a chair from the main gate to the booth. The villagers said the administration should have made the arrangement for differently abled. “It is strange that while our prime minister is talking about giving special status to such people, they have to crawl to reach the polling station,” said Paramjeet Singh, a local.

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