LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Women Politicians Manipulated

SEATS are reserved for women at panchayats and municipalities in Goa. This is a step in the right direction to encourage women to play their role in the political arena and to serve the society at the grassroots level. But unfortunately, we have been sadly witnessing that in many cases the women elected are puppets in the hands of their husbands, brothers or other relatives. Woman candidates must be selected and elected on their own merit and aptitude, not as a front for others to run the show. They must not be puppets on a string manipulated and pushed along the way with no say. This defeats the very purpose of reserving seats for women which is meant for ensuring their empowerment. Responsibilities of a woman representative are performed by a proxy, which is a totally unacceptable. A woman contesting the polls must be absolutely confident that she would be able to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of the post she is aspiring.  She needs to realise that serving as a ward member – whether at the panchayats or municipalities – is a full-time job requiring all the patience and desire to redress the grievances of the people. A woman who cannot discharge her duties of the post independently must quit and make way for another woman. A mockery should not be made of the good intentions of the lawmakers who framed the policy to encourage women to venture and to contribute their bit to public life.

AIRES RODRIGUES, RIBANDAR

Welcome Move On Elderly Voters

KUDOS to the Election Commission for permitting senior citizens above 80 years and persons with disabilities to cast their votes through ‘postal ballot’, that is vote from home. The process has already begun in the various poll-bound states, and is getting good response from people. Most of the senior citizens are delighted as they are able to exercise their franchise in their homes. The elderly find it difficult to go to polling booths. They have to be carried on wheel chairs or stretchers; this   often causes physical and mental inconvenience to them. Most often they hesitate going to the polling stations even though they are interested in casting their votes. Polling officials and security personnel come to the house of the elderly person with all poll devices and documents. The voting process is carried out within a short span of time. Privacy of casting the vote is also maintained. Voting through postal ballot is also available to armed forces and those assigned poll duty;  on the recommendation of the Election Commission, the ministry of law and justice  amended the Conduct of Election Rules 1961 categorising senior citizens above 80 years and persons with disabilities into the ‘absentee voters’ list.

M PRADYU, KANNUR