Voting centre location excludes disabled, pregnant women

Bajura, May 1

Bajura’s elderly and pregnant women and people with disability will not be able to exercise their franchise in the upcoming civic polls as the voting centres are located in inconvenient locations.

Padam Bahadur Singh, a man living with disability in Juwapani at Budhiganga Municipality, Bajura, will not be able to cast his vote in the upcoming civic polls. The voting centre is one-and-half-hour walk from his home.

Prithvi Singh, a differently-abled man of the same village, will also have to abstain from voting as it takes two-and-half hours to reach the nearest voting centre.

“I do want to vote in the polls, but I have been deprived of this right,” he said.

District Disabled Association Bajura Chair Man Bahadur Hamal said lack of voting centres at convenient places means that the election will not be representative of the differently-abled. “Most voting centres are between two hours to one day’s walk from their homes. This has forced many differently-abled people who want to vote to abstain from the election,” he said.

Differently-abled voters from Gumba of Himali Rural Municipality, Mallo Tugan Paudani and Annaradi of Gaumul Rural Municipality, Bajedi and Jupapani of Budhiganga Municipality, and other places will have to abstain as the voting centres are at faraway places. CPN-Maoist Centre central member Mahes Shahi said that people with disability, the elderly, and pregnant women will miss the polls at Chhudari of Swamikarkit Rural Municipality, Mallo, Kapri, Baishirukh and Kot Gotri of Pandagufa  due to inconveniently located voting centres.

Information Officer Bajura District Election Office Man Bahadur Thapa also conceded that the voting centres were located at great distance from many villages, excluding some people from the elections.