A vote to turn the spotlight on mental health

A total of 84 residents of the Institute of Mental Health exercised their franchise

For the second time, a section of residents of the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) cast their votes at a booth set up on campus on Tuesday. A total of 84 residents of the 97 identified to be eligible exercised their franchise.

The 2019 Lok Sabha poll was the first time when 156 of the residents voted.

Prior to the Assembly polls, the institute had made arrangements, including screening for eligibility, creating awareness and demonstration of how to use electronic voting machines (EVM) for the residents.

P. Poorna Chandrika, Director of IMH, said many of the residents were excited to vote.

Safety norms

“We followed all COVID-19 safety norms. All residents who voted were provided with masks and gloves. They were very happy to vote. One of them wanted the fuel price and prices of essential commodities to reduce, while another resident hoped that in the post-COVID-19 situation, industries will give more jobs to people,” she said. Earlier, the Greater Chennai Corporation organised a demonstration on the usage of the EVM for each individual voter on the campus. The residents already had access to newspapers and watched news on television.

“This exercise shows the equality in the right to vote for persons with disabilities. It will reduce the stigma and discrimination against mental illness. If more persons start voting, it will put the spotlight on mental health issues,” she emphasised.

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