voting machine fulfilled the wishes of 4 million visually-challenged voters
Have a look at this...looks like we may have modified EVMs in all polling booths this time!! Read this report in the Bangalore Mirror.
Hyderabad: The 2009 general elections will set the record of having fulfilled the wishes of nearly 4 million visually-challenged voters to cast their vote with no iota of doubt that their right to vote is manipulated. Modified electronic voting machines (MEVMs) will be kept at each of the 8,28,804 polling stations in the country (including AP, Orissa and Sikkim Assemblies).
The credit goes to the Hyderabad's Devnar Foundation for the Blind, which first developed the self-adhesive stickers in Braille. Over a dozen people are working day and night to produce 4.5 lakh stickers by March 31 for ten states - Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Stickers for the other states are being manufactured by the National Association for the Blind at its Delhi and Mumbai branches.
The seed for a fair chance In 2002, some visually challenged persons in Delhi had approached the Supreme Court seeking a solution to their problems in voting. "During consultations over two years, our (Devnar) name figured before then Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishna Murthy and we were contacted by his office in 2004 for a solution", recalls Dr A Saibaba Goud, founder director of the Devnar.
Working with the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Saibaba designed stickers in Braille with parties, names of the candidates, their symbols and the numbers assigned to them in serial.
"It takes less than two minutes for a visually challenged person to cast their vote", explains Srinivas, one of the Devnar teachers.
EC directive The Election Commission directed the chief electoral officers of all states to introduce Braille signage features in EVMs in the forthcoming polls.
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