TN CEO ropes in sign language interpreter for press briefings

Suresh Kumar, a special teacher, interpreting the speech of chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo at a press briefing on April 11

In a first time in Tamil Nadu’s electoral history, the chief electoral officer’s was accompanied by a sign language interpreter while addressing a press conference at the Secretariat here on Thursday (April 11).

While TN’s chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo briefed the media on election updates, Suresh Kumar, a special teacher, simultaneously interpreted Sahoo’s words into sign language, for the benefit of hearing impaired voters.

“There were requests from the differently abled community to have a sign language interpreter at press briefings to make it easier for people with hearing impairment to follow the Lok Sabha poll updates in the state. As their demand was valid, we have deputed a sign language interpreter,” Sahoo said.

The ECI has also enrolled 192 patients of the Institute of Mental Health as voters for the polls on April 18. “Doctors examined about 900 patients in the hospital and those who had shown improvement after treatment were registered as voters. They will also be given a demo to vote,” Sahoo said.

During the press meet, Sahoo said he would ensure a fair election. He said as 4,185 cases have been filed for violating the model code of conduct in the state. “Similarly, unaccounted cash of ₹127.66 crore has been seized by the poll officials, while around ₹37.78 crore have been seized by the I-T officials,” Sahoo said.

Asked about the IT raids at the residences of opposition party leaders, Sahoo said that there was no ulterior motive behind the raids.

Meanwhile, on April 10 Election Commission appointed Ashutosh Shukla as the Director General of Police (elections) and asked all the police officials involved in the poll duty to report to Shukla. “DGP TK Rajendran will not be associated in any matter in the process of election and will not communicate with SPs, DIGs, IGs or other officials on election related matter or have any meeting with them till the completion of Lok Sabha elections in the state,” the order appointing Shukla as DGP (Elections) read.

Following the order, Shukla on Thursday took charge as the DGP (elections) and said that he would depute additional police officers in sensitive polling booths to ensure that people cast their votes without fear.In a first time in Tamil Nadu’s electoral history, the chief electoral officer’s was accompanied by a sign language interpreter while addressing a press conference at the Secretariat here on Thursday (April 11).