SHILLONG, Sept 10: Meghalaya government has failed to provide â€œlegitimate-rightsâ€ to the persons with disabilities (PWDs) by depriving them from enrolling in the electoral roll of the state.
â€œMajority of the PWDs in the state have been deprived of the right to get themselves enrolled in the electoral roll of the state,â€ Khasi Disabilities Association (KDA) president Starwin Kharjana has alleged.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference held here on Monday, Kharjana claimed, â€œThe PWDs who were applying for EPIC cards were rejected by the officials at the Deputy Commissionerâ€™s office.â€
Quoting the officials, Kharjana alleged, â€œThe magistrate in the DCâ€™s office told us that they will not accept applications from persons with disabilities (PWDs).â€
According to Kharjana, the PWDs has gone to the office to submit the application forms after the state election department has announced enrollment drives for those who have completed the age of 18 years.
Out of 28,000 PWDs in the state, 10,000 have completed the age of 18 years, he apprised, adding â€œMost of them especially from rural areas find it too difficult to go all the way to concerned offices for enrolmentâ€.
Further Kharjana said, the Election Commission of India directions state that a magistrate along with other officials should conduct a house to house enrollment of those persons with severe disabilities or accept the applications submitted by their relatives.
Kharjana further informed, â€œThe matter was also taken up with the Minister in charge of Election JA Lyngdohâ€ adding â€œHowever, the Ministerâ€™s reply was that the matter should be looked into by the Election department.â€
He urged upon the government to intervene and ensure that persons with disabilities who are also the citizens of the state do not face such problems in the future.