Teaming up with car aggregator Uber, the Chennai city corporation is going to ferry around 3,000 Persons With Disabilities to the polling station for casting their votes on Tuesday, April 6.
The process includes the Persons With Disabilities calling a dedicated helpline number that the city corporation is set to publicise shortly before the polling day. Upon doing so, they will receive a promotional code that they can use while booking an app through Uber to go to the polling station, reported The New Indian Express. The same code can be used by them to get dropped back as well.
“The coupon is worth a maximum of Rs 200 and any additional cost should be borne by the respective travelers,” a senior corporation official. The code, the official clarified, is not publicised beforehand as it may be misused. Only limited codes are available.
“We are connecting with disability rights activists who will help us pass on the code to persons with disabilities,” the official added.
Disability activists have welcomed the move by Chennai corporation along with Uber, however, they believe that the existing coupons available for 3,000 persons may not be enough.
“The chances of death due to Covid 19 is much higher for persons with disabilities below 45 years of age than it is for others less than 45 years of age. The elderly are also susceptible to the virus. When they are willing to come out and vote despite the higher risks, it should be made sure that they are as safe as possible,” said Vaishnavi Jayakumar, a disability rights activist.
“It is commendable that Uber has come forward to offer the code and cover a part of the costs but the remaining may have ideally been borne by the election machinery so that every person with disability and elderly are covered,” she added.
Activists are also concerned about the lack of information on the availability of such a facility, although only a day is left for the polls.