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EC would provide disables voting card in Braille, auxiliary polling stations, transportation on polling day

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National Level Consultations on Accessible Elections organized by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi

New Delhi: In India’s first National Level Consultations on Accessible Elections organized by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi, several decisions have been taken regarding the strategy to enable 100 percent participation of the disables in the upcoming Lok Sabha Election.

Himachal Pradesh will launch a mobile app to facilitate disabled voters in the ensuing general elections. Ajai Srivastava, a member of HP State Committee on Electoral Literacy (SCEL) and Chairman of the non-profit organization Umang Foundation, said. He was representing Himachal as a disability expert.

It was the first national consultation on accessible elections in the country in which one disability expert from each State and Union Territories participated along with Chief Electoral Officers.

During the concluding session, the Chief Election Commissioner launched the distribution of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) with Braille features for visually challenged voters by handing them over to two of the recipients. Later, he announced that such cards would be distributed to all visually challenged voters across the country.

All educational, vocational, and professional institutions across the country will set up Electoral Literacy Clubs to include potential young voters in the electoral process.

The disabled students will also be included in these clubs. The State Election Department will appoint more disabled with achievements as Youth Icons.

They will motivate the disabled and other youth to exercise their right to vote for the betterment of the country.

In the next election, transportation facility would be made available to severely disabled voters for casting their vote.

The Election Commission will constitute committees at national, state, district, and assembly constituency levels to monitor the compliance of its directions. The purpose is that no voter to be left behind.

The Commission has decided to establish auxiliary polling stations for the People with Disabilities (PwDs) during elections.

Disability Coordinators would be appointed at the levels of Assembly Constituencies, Districts and States. He informed that a mobile app would be developed in-house for the PwDs to facilitate them participate fully in election processes.

They would be permitted to avail public transport along with their attendants on the day of polling. The ECI would make available all its election-related awareness materials in accessible formats for the PwDs. The photo voter slips would also be made in accessible formats for them.

For the use of the hearing impaired voters, sign language windows will be established in all audio-visual training and awareness contents of the Commission. A new unit called Accessible Division would be established in the ECI-run International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Management (IIDEM) in New Delhi.

Accessibility Master Trainers would also be employed to provide cascaded training for the welfare of the PwDs. A follow up of the actions taken based on the recommendations made during the National Consultations on Accessible Elections would take place in the next three months.

The Election Commissioner Sunil Arora in his address said,

We should go far beyond the bureaucratic measures to overcome the barriers. Technology has the capability to fill the gaps and it shall be explored to its fullest potential.

The Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa remarked that the set of recommendations received from the Consultations will be examined thoroughly and efforts will be made to implement them in a time bound manner.

The deliberations held during the two-day consultation resulted in a comprehensive “Strategic Framework on Accessible Elections” to help in making electoral processes more accessible in the forthcoming State and Lok Sabha Elections.

The Framework includes 14 important parameters like Identification of Barriers and respective solutions, Voter registration and polling, Inclusive Voter Education, Leveraging Technology for Accessible Elections, Research and Knowledge Sharing, Role of Partner Departments, Educational Institutions, CSOs, Volunteers and Media, Training and sensitisation of Staff, Alternative Voting Methods, Legislative Initiatives and Special four-tiered Committees on Accessible Elections.

Umang Foundation will help the Election Department to achieve the goal in HP,

Shrivastva Said.

Misc News/Press Release

Control Rooms Established in Every State for Himachali’s Stuck Outside, View All Contacts

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HP Covid-19 control rooms for himachali's stuck outside state

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government today informed that that control rooms have been set up and made functional in all the states of country so that anyone in need can call for help.

The government said that those Himachali who are staying outside the State, can call at following numbers for any assistance.

  1. Andhra Pradesh-    9440484879 and 08662488000
  2. Arunachal Pradesh-   0360-2005159, 0360-2005160 and 09436074396
  3. Assam-   0361-2237219, 2217786 and 0361-2237011 (Fax)
  4. Bihar-   0612-2217305 and 0612-2217786 (Fax)
  5. Chhattisgarh-   0771-2221242 and 0771- 2223471
  6. Goa-   2419439 and 2419444
  7. Gujrat-   079-23251900 and 079-23251509
  8. Haryana-   0172-2711925 and 0172-2545938
  9. Jammu and Kashmir-   0194-2477261, 2455165 and 2484837
  10. Jharkhand-  0651-2446923, 2400218 and 0651-2446923 (Fax)
  11. Karnataka-   080-22032416/1070 and 080-22340676 (Fax)
  12. Kerala-   0471-2364424, 0471-2331639 and 0471-2333198 (Fax)
  13. Madhya Pradesh-   0755-2441419 and 0755-2440032 (Fax)
  14. Maharashtra-   022-22027990, 022-22025274 and 022-22026712 (Fax)
  15. Manipur-   0385-2450301
  16. Meghalaya-   0364-2502098 and 2225669
  17. Mizoram-   0389-2342520 and 0389-2306518 (Fax)
  18. Nagaland-   0370-2291120, 2291122 and 08731009677
  19. New Delhi-   1077
  20. Odisha-   0674- 2395398, 0674- 2534177 and 0674-2391871 (Fax)
  21. Punjab-   0172-2749901
  22. Rajasthan-   0141-2227296, 0141-5110869 and 0141-2227230 (Fax)
  23. Sikkim-   03592-201145 and 03592-201075 (Fax)
  24. Tamil Nadu-   044-28593990, 044-8592921 (Fax), 044-28414553, 044-28550867 (Fax) and 044-28528745,
  25. Telangana-   040-23454088
  26. Tripura-   0381-2416045 and 0381- 2418053
  27. Uttar Pradesh-   0522-2237515 and 2238084 (Fax)
  28. Uttarakhand-   0135-2710334, 6555523, 2710232, 2710081, 09557444486 and 0135-2710335 (Fax)
  29. West Bengal-  033-22143526 and 033-22144005(F)

 

Besides this, the control room numbers of Himachal Pradesh are 0177-2622204, 0177-2628940, 2629688, 2629939 and 0177-2621154 (Fax) and people who need any kind of assistance in the State can call at these numbers.

State Government said 1077 is the toll-free number of disaster control rooms set up in all districts of the State, which are named as Emergency Operation Centers and migrants living in different parts of the State.  Anyone who is in need of assistance in the form of food and shelter can call at this number.  He said that this toll-free number is operation 24×7. Call made by a caller will get connected in the control room of concerned district automatically.

 

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Validity of Expired Driving Licenses, Vehicle Registration, All Permits Extended Till June 30

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Validity of expired licenses and vehicle permits extended

Shimla-The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has extended the validity of documents like driving licenses, permits and registration that expired since February 1. In an advisory to all states and Union Territories, the Ministry has asked them to treat such documents as valid till June 30.

The decision was taken to facilitate people facing difficulties in renewing the validity of various motor vehicle documents due to nationwide lockdown in the country and closure of government transport offices.

The documents include fitness, permits (all types), driving licence, registration or any other concerned document under the Motor Vehicle Rules.

The ministry has requested all states to implement the advisory in “letter and spirit” so that the people and transporters and organisations rendering essential services do not get harassed and face difficulties.

 

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Lockdown in Himachal Extended till April 14, All Educational Institutes, Govt Offices to Remain Closed

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lockdown in Himachal PRadesh extended

Shimla-The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Himachal Pradesh, today issued a fresh notification extending the lockdown till April 14, 2020.

“It has been deemed appropriate that the restrictions imposed and the preventive measures adopted may be contained in the public interest,”

the notification said.

Therefore, under the HP Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020, it has been directed that restrictions on the movement of public/vehicles, opening of public offices, facilities, shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, godowns etc, will continue.

All government offices will remain closed, and the employees have been directed to remain at their homes and follow all the social distancing guidelines.

Further, all social, cultural, sports, political, religious, academic, family mass gatherings of any would remain banned. All interstate and intrastate movement of public and private stage and contract carriages including taxis, auto-rickshaws etc. is prohibited. There will be a total prohibition on movement or playing of trains and commercial aircraft.

Permission to drive private vehicles would be given only if essentially required for visiting hospitals and for availing maintenance of essential services.

However, this prohibition would not apply to offices, organizations, commercial establishments, factories, institutions, godowns, shops, stores, production units, vehicles, hospitals, petrol pumps, oil agencies, e-commerce delivery units etc, charged with essential and emergency services as notified by the Government of India, the State Government or the concerned District Magistrate from time to time.

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