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'Poll officials need to shed stigma against homeless'
Saturday, 24 May 2014 08:53 Published in India

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New Delhi:  There is a urgent need for polling officials to shed stigma against homeless people, Delhi's chief electoral officer Vijay Dev said Friday.

"Due to various factors, including stereotype image of the homeless as criminals, beggars, drugs addicts, not contributing to the society, local people and poll officials working for the enrollment of homeless are reluctant to include them in the electors list," Dev said in his address at a workshop organised for NGOs and poll officials held in the NDMC convention center here.

He said that even if the absence of documentary evidence are the problems the homeless face during the enrollment of their name in the voters list, the poll officials and the NGOs working for their enrollment should help them in all possible ways.

Dev said the Delhi electoral office had registered over 8,000 homeless people in the electoral rolls for the Lok Sabha polls. d were from central Delhi at 2,863, the lowest registered were from west Delhi at 80.

He said that there is a need for the NGOs working for the enrollment of the homeless to collaborate with the poll panel and help in intensifying the special drives conducted for the enrollment of this segment.

"Registering authorities are duty-bound to maintain a clean and error free electoral roll," he said, stressing that though bogus voters, under age and migrants from different countries should be clearly avoided from being included in the rolls, a genuine Indian citizen should not be left out from being registered at any cost.

According to the Census 2011, there are over 45, 000 homeless people in the national capital.

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