Voting become a hurdle for disabled people in Karnataka
Karnataka is going to vote today to form the next state government. However, despite many promises to make voting accessible, many disabled people in the state are finding it hard.
While many polling booths have wheelchair ramps, for people who are blind, casting of votes is extremely difficult.
The Election Commission of India had introduced the Braille system in electronic voting machines (EVM) in Karnataka in 2001. This has benefitted blind people who know how to read Braille.
However, there are many blind people who do not know how to read Braille. This is especially true of people who have lost their vision later in life. They are unable to cast their votes.
Mahantesh GK, founder of the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, has said that installing sound signals in polling booths would help blind people who do not know Braille.
Many physically disabled voters have complained that some key polling booths do not have wheelchair ramps.