New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) National Human Rights Commission member Justice Cyriac Joseph (retd) has urged the Election Commission for separate queues for senior citizens during the Kerala assembly polls on May 16.
In his letter to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, Justice Joseph said a long wait at the polling booth in harsh weather for the aged, who are physically weak and suffer from various ailments, was definitely an obstacle in exercising their right to vote.
The letter comes following an article on the difficulties faced by senior citizens while standing in queues to cast their votes, published in one of the prominent south Indian dailies.
According to the article, about 50 lakh voters in Kerala are senior citizens aged 60 and above, of whom about 25 lakh are 70 and above.
"Fearing the long wait, many people do not visit polling stations and some return without voting when the long wait becomes unbearable. Therefore, it is highly desirable to ensure that the situation at the polling booths is friendly to the aged," the NHRC member said.
"It will also be in consonance with the government's commitment to promote and protect the rights of the elderly," he added.