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For inclusive electoral process in Meghalaya, Barefoot trust conducts training

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Shillong, March 20: Ahead of the upcoming elections in Meghalaya, Barefoot Trust in collaboration with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer has initiated training across the state to strengthen the inclusivity of the electoral process for persons with disabilities.

The initiative, “Nothing Like Voting – I Vote for Sure: Accessible Elections for Persons with Disability,” focuses on increasing awareness among master trainers and poll volunteers on facilitating voting for persons with disabilities.

The 2-week long initiative launched on Wednesday with interactive training sessions in the districts of East Khasi Hills, West Garo Hills, East Garo Hills, West Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills involving master trainers from all the districts.

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There are separate sessions aimed at equipping Master Trainers for Polling Personnel and Master Trainers for Poll Volunteers with the necessary skills required on the day of polling.

The volunteers will identify people with disabilities when they come to vote and assist them.

The West Garo Hills chapter saw an immense response from the 45 master trainers from South Garo Hills and South-West Garo Hills. The training was held at DRDA Hall, DC office Tura. Nipon Hajon, ADC Elections emphasized on the importance of inclusive elections.

Sweet Syiemiong, Program Coordinator, led the training highlighting the various ways of interacting with persons with visual or hearing impairment that included the use of Braille and sign language.

The training will cover essential topics such as basic sign language, accessible facilities available at polling stations, and effective methods to assist persons with disabilities during the voting process. A key objective is to equip poll volunteers with the necessary knowledge and skills to communicate effectively with voters across the disability spectrum, ensuring their right to participate in the democratic process is upheld.

Also Read: SC agrees to hear PIL against parties promising freebies

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