In response to my captioned letter that appeared in the press, a highly-acclaimed senior citizen of the country sent me the following comment.
“I agree totally. The trouble for us is that the places of voting are inaccessible to people of our ages. The booths are right up on the hill of a nearby school. Neither my husband nor I can manage that hill and even if we were allowed to take our cars up the hill, the steps leading to the hall are about 18 inches high – Impossible to climb. So no votes will be cast by us this time.”
In this regard, my attention was drawn to the recent article in the press titled ‘Over three million voters with restricted abilities’, written by Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera, highlighting the dire need to implement accessibility legislation by all institutions concerned.
Generally, I write to the press only on issues where I can offer a solution but here is an issue that I can only highlight, due to the impracticability of imposing accessibility legislation to rural schools where most of the voting booths are located. Perhaps, the unutilised budget votes of the Election Commission and the Education Department could be spent to improve voter accessibility at those school premises identified as polling booths.
I count on Dr. Perera and the Elections Commission to find a viable solution for this vexed problem of over three million disabled voters, whose inability to vote has the potential to reverse election results.