Maharashtra polls: Auto-rickshaws to ferry disabled voters free of cost

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Akola: Auto-rickshaw drivers in Maharashtra’s Akola district have decided to ferry disabled voters free of cost to their polling booths during voting for the state Assembly polls on Monday, officials said.

Under an initiative of the district auto-rickshaw union, over 100 drivers have put up posters on their vehicles displaying phone numbers on which the physically challenged voters can call them to get a free ride to their polling booth, they said.

The message on the posters reads: “Our one day for the disabled voters”. “It is our duty to vote. So we will first ourselves go to vote and then take every divyang voter to his/her respective polling station,” district auto-rickshaw union leader Santosh Sharma told on Sunday.

Akola Collector Jitendra Papalkar said the auto- rickshaw drivers are raising awareness about voting and asking people to come out in large numbers to exercise their democratic right.

“There are around 13,602 ‘divyang’ voters in Akola.The district administration is making all efforts to increase their turnout in the Assembly elections,” he added.

Polling for all 288 Assembly seats in the state will be held on Monday and counting of votes will take place on October 24.