The Election Commission of India (ECI) has organised a two-day “National Consultation on Accessible Elections,” from July 3, 2018 in New Delhi.
The event was inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, in the presence of Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa. During the inaugural session, a dedicated portal for the ECI’s ‘Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) initiative was launched.
The event is a part of the ECI’s larger mission to ‘leave no voter behind,’ with a special focus on ‘Persons with Disabilities’ (PwD).
The theme of the event is ‘Inclusion of PwD’s’. It has been given a special focus in the ECI’s Strategic Plan 2016-2025.
Besides, “Accessible Elections” has been adopted as ECI’s central theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day celebrations.
The event aims to identify the barriers or gaps in the inclusion of PwD’s in the electoral process, in order to assess the existing accessibility initiatives and find solutions for the challenges being faced by them.
The main objective is to enhance the participation of the Persons with Disabilities in the upcoming state and Lok Sabha elections.
• The ‘National Consultation on Accessible Elections’ will comprise three technical sessions over the course of the two days.
• The best practices on ‘Accessible Elections’ that were practiced in six states during their last Assembly Elections will be shared in the meeting.
• The event is the culmination of a nearly three-month-long series of district and state level consultations.
• It will witness participation from the Chief Electoral Officers of all states, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the area of empowerment of the differently-abled and senior officials of the Union Ministries of Social Justice & Empowerment, Information & Broadcasting, Electronics and Information Technology, Youth Affairs and Sports, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Central Public Works Department and the National Literacy Mission Authority.
• The meet is expected to contribute significantly to evolve a policy on ‘Accessible Elections’ that will help in making electoral processes more accessible in the upcoming elections.
• The concluding session of the national consultation will be held on July 4, 2018.
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