Officer awarded for encouraging differently able voters

Arti Dogra

The Zorawar Auditorium at Maneskaw Centre reverberated with applause as Arti Dogra climbed up the stairs to the podium. 

President Ram Nath Kovind and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad joined the audience to applaud the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 2006 batch as she walked towards them in brisk but confident steps to accept her award – a recognition for her stellar performance as the District Election Officer in Ajmer during the recently held assembly polls in Rajasthan.
 
She is just about three-and-a-half-feet tall but her struggle to reach the high echelons of bureaucracy reaffirms that it is always the grit that matters, not the size.  
 
Dogra, who hails from Dehradun in Uttarakhand, was the collector of Ajmer district of Rajasthan when the state went to the polls. 
 
The IAS officer took it upon herself to encourage the differently able people of the district to cast votes and take part in the democratic exercise to elect the representatives to the State Assembly.  
 
It was for the little woman in the office of the District Election Officer that a record 59.88 % differently able voters turned out to cast votes at the polling station. 
 
She assigned the Booth Level Officers for providing assistance to and motivating all the differently able voters at their respective booths. She arranged vehicles – “Divyang Raths” – in all the assembly constituencies in the district to help the people with disabilities to come to the polling stations and cast votes. She ensured 874 wheel chairs with at least two in every Gram Panchayat. It was for her efforts that 17000 differently able voters came to their respective booths and took pledge to vote. 
 
“This one is for Team #Ajmer and everyone in the election team who worked tirelessly to ensure that we could reach out to so many differently abled voters and ensure #AccessibleElections for them. Thank you to each one of you,” Dogra, who has now been shifted to the office of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, posted on Twitter, after receiving the award on the occasion of the National Voters' Day on Friday. 
 
Gehlot, himself, too congratulated her. “Congratulations to IAS Ms. Arti Dogra for receiving the National Award from hon’ble President of India on #NationalVotersDay for her role to ensure maximum participation of differently abled voters in #Ajmer district during #Rajasthan assembly elections,” tweeted the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. 

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Officer awarded for encouraging differently able voters

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