Volume 2 Issue 10 - May 15, 2004

Voters choose to play safe with big parties

DNIS News Network -- Despite a hard fought campaign in the New Delhi Constituency, appealing to voters to place their trust in the person rather than the party, disabled rights activist Javed Abidi lost out on the day to the big guns, with Congress candidate Ajay Maken taking the contested seat of the capital.

Abidi had been persuaded to stand as a candidate by the Disability Rights Group (DRG), of which he is the Convenor. The intention was to draw attention to the needs of disabled people throughout India, not just in the contested area. And to this end Abidi can claim some success, with substantial coverage in the media and a paper-victory over access to polling booths (though on the day the provision of ramps was patchy at best).

"The cause of disability has been highlighted… we have been able to sensitise a large number of people to issues related to the disability sector," he commented.

The standard has thus been set for future elections and DNIS and DRG will continue to fight for improved standards all the way. And Abidi, though denied a seat in the Lok Sabha, has pledged to continue the fight for equal rights for disabled people and justice for all.

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