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SHILLONG: Football match for the blind between teams from Shillong and Tura and concert by members of a blind band, among others, will mark the National Voters’ Day celebration in the city on Thursday. The theme of the programme will be ‘Accessible Elections’ highlighting the need to recognise the disabled.
Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Kharkongor said the state has 2,174 voters with various disabilities.
“There are 243 special polling stations for persons with disabilities and 500 volunteers will assist them and we will also use 50 wheelchairs,” Kharkongor said.
Noted blind footballers Killing Marak and Gabriel Nongrum, who are part of the national blind football team, will lead the teams for the match.
The band, Life after Dark, comprising all-blind members will perform on the occasion and paintings done by persons with disabilities will be unveiled.
Bertha Dkhar, who invented Khasi Braille, will be the disability icon for the Election Department.
The department will distribute manuals in Braille among visually challenged voters.
The stage was specially designed for easy access to the disabled. “We will have tactile paving blisters on stage for the visually impaired, besides the craft and art stall as well as graffiti wall open for anyone and equipped with sign interpreter, paving blisters and others for the differently-abled,” Kharkongor said.
The group from Bethany Society will have its own sign interpreter for the deaf.
Besides, there will be live performance by Summersalt, felicitation of millennium voters and distribution of EPICs and voters’ day run for democracy.