Homeless first need to learn how to use EVMs

Homeless people say that they not only require voter identity cards to take part in the democratic process, but they also need some education on how to use an electronic voting machine.

Most of the destitute are uneducated and have never voted before. Fifty-three-year-old Sikander Khan has been spending nights at a shelter home on Lodhi Road.

“We have applied for the voter identity cards over two months ago, but we haven’t received any card yet,” Khan said. 

“It’s almost the end of January and the voting is on February 7. How are we supposed to vote? It seems that the authorities have forgotten us,” he added.

Another homeless Mahendra, who has been living near CP’s Hanuman Mandir for over three months now, said they also need to be educated on how to vote.

“We should be taught about how to access the EVMs as most of us are illiterate,” he said.

The destitutes said since they did not know how to vote, issuing the card would be of no use.

“The authorities should launch a programme to educate us on how to cast a vote otherwise the voter identity cards will be of no use,” Mahendra added. The Delhi electoral office said a person can vote if he possesses an Aadhar card.

“We are, however, in the process to issue voter identity cards to the homeless population,” said a senior official with central district of Delhi electoral office.

But homeless people do not even have Aadhar cards. “I don’t even have an Aadhar card,” said Mahendra. “We want that the election office should issue the voter identity cards to us,” he added.

NGOs working for the destitutes said the Delhi election commission has not set up many camps like last year for the registration of homeless people.

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