Maharashtra Assembly Polls: Elderly voters left to fend for themselves

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 08:47 IST | Arita Sarkar |

Linganna Mallari, 80, who inched towards the gate after casting his vote, was not aware that the Election Commission mandates wheelchairs for elderly

Linganna Mallari, 80 and Muktabai Sakpal, 70
Linganna Mallari, 80 and Muktabai Sakpal, 70

Most polling stations in various parts of the North Central constituency not only bore a deserted look throughout the day, they even lack coordination and assistance to the elderly.

Several voters above 70s had to struggle to get to their polling booths as the EC website crashed. At St Anthony School, which provided seating areas and pall bearers for the elderly in the Lok Sabha elections, wheelchairs were missing during Monday's assembly polls, forcing elderly voters to search for a place to rest.

Among them was Muktabai Sakpal, 70, with a walking difficulty. Sakpal came to St Anthony at 11 am only to find at 2 pm that her polling booth had been changed. "I come the same booth every year. But this year, they changed it. There's no one to help and no place to sit," she said.

Linganna Mallari, 80, who inched towards the gate after casting his vote, was not aware that the Election Commission mandates wheelchairs for elderly. "I spent half-an-hour trying to find my booth. They let me in first, but there was no one to guide us," he said. No volunteers were seen at the Navjeevan Vidyamandir in Bandra East.

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