We just want to vote with dignity, say the disabled

"We don't want to be carried to the polling booth this time." This is what the city's differently abled told Election Commissioner Jageshwar Saharia yesterday, during a meeting at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Churchgate.

Just a single ramp can ensure that they get their right to vote with dignity, like any other citizen. Arvind Prabhu (49), a resident of Vile Parle (E), recalled his last experience: "There was no ramp. After making me wait for almost 20 minutes, the guard suggested that I be carried inside to the voting booth."

For many, this can feel like a humiliating experience. Mahim-resident Nilesh Singit (52) said, "Last time, five people carried me to the the voting booth on the first floor. I was so embarrassed that I returned without casting my vote."

They demanded that BEST Undertaking run a special bus service for the physically challenged and senior citizens on voting day. However, Saharia said, "This is a difficult task for us because BEST cannot reach each and every place on voting day." He added, however, this year polling stations would have ramps.



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