A training and awareness program for Persons with Disabilities voters on the election process/procedure, in connection with the ensuing Bye-Election to 11 – Panaji Assembly Constituency was held on May 4, 2019 in Black Box, Kala Academy Panaji.
Shri. Narayan Sawant, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Govt. of Goa, Shri. Gopal Parsekar, Additional Collector, North Goa, Shri. Vivek H.P., I.A.S. Dy. Collector & Returning Officer, 11 – Panaji Assembly Constituency, Shri Taha Haaziq, State Nodal Officer for Persons with Disabilities and Shri. Sudesh Gaude, Nodal Officer for PwD and Welfare Measures were present for the training.
Additional Collector, Shri. Gopal Parsekar, informed the participants about the importance of each vote in the ensuing Bye-election and urged Person with disabilities electors to vote. Returning Officer ensured PwD voters that all the facilities will be provided to them in order to cast their vote on poll day.
90 participants including, Persons with Disabilities voters, Booth Level Officers (BLO), Escorts etc. of 11 – Panaji Assembly Constituency attended the programme. There was noticeable participation of three prominent NGO’s of the State dealing with Persons with Disabilities like Disha Charitable Trust, Panaji Goa, National Association for the Blinds, St. Cruz and Sanjay Centre for Special Education, Porvorim.
Programme started with sensitizing and briefing Booth Level Officers in explaining them, their role to bring the PwD voters at Polling station to vote and to facilitate PwD voters with required aids and appliances and assistance on the poll day.
Experience sharing was done by a parent Mrs. Sandhya Kaloke in getting her son, who is having multiple disabilities to vote and Mr. Mahadev Sawant a Low vision voter shared his experiences on the poll day. The programme later continued with a common sensitization on the process of voting.
Dr. Shantanu Gawas, National level Master Trainer explained to the participants, the process of voting in the polling station. Subsequently, the participants were given the physical demonstration of the procedure on the EVM.
It is further informed that training also included the expertise of Indian Sign Language Interpreter Mrs. Manaswi Dessai, Braille Expert Mrs. Leena Prabhu and Mr. Mahadev Sawant and Intellectual disability expert Mrs. Malasha Fernandes
This training mainly aimed to involve and get maximum participation of PwD voters from 11 – Panaji Assembly Constituency Bye-Elections. Similar training will be organized in the coming days and if the required personalized home visit will also be planned.
Shri Sudesh Gaude, Nodal Officer for PwD & Welfare Measures expressed vote of thanks.