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Arjuna Awardee Sheetal Devi Named ECI’s National PwD Icon at Inclusive Cricket Match

Exhibition Cricket Match

The Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) organized an exhibition cricket match to promote voter education and inclusivity. The match was played between the Indian Deaf Cricket Association (IDCA) Team and the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) team on March 16, 2024, at Karnail Singh Stadium in New Delhi.

National PwD Icon Announced

During the event, Ms. Sheetal Devi, a renowned Para-archer and Arjuna Awardee, was announced as the National Icon in the PwD category.

Chief Guests and Dignitaries

The event was graced by the presence of Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioners Shri Gyanesh Kumar and Shri Sukhbir Singh Sandhu. They felicitated the winning team. Nikhil Chopra, a famous former Indian cricketer, was the special guest, along with officials from DDCA and IDCA.

Commitment to Inclusivity

This cricket match was a follow-up to the commitment made by CEC Shri Rajiv Kumar to the Indian deaf cricket team when he felicitated them for winning the T20 Champions Trophy in UAE on the eve of International Day of PwDs in 2022. He had mentioned that ECI would explore sponsoring a match between the Indian Deaf Cricket Association team and mainstream cricket teams.

Match Details

Both teams put up a spirited performance, entertaining the crowd of 2500 spectators, including Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) of various categories and young voters. The DDCA team won by 69 runs (Scorecard- DDCA 190/5; IDCA – 121/8). The event’s message of inclusivity and togetherness emerged as the ultimate victor.

Voter Awareness

The message of ‘Nothing like voting, I vote for sure’ resonated throughout the event, underscoring ECI’s commitment towards inclusivity and empowerment. It will inspire fellow voters with disabilities to enroll and participate in the electoral process.

Special Performances

The match concluded with a captivating performance by the ‘Shining Star Music Band’ – a band featuring the visually impaired.

Voter’s Guide for PwDs

For the event, the Commission launched a dedicated Voter’s Guide for PwDs and Senior Citizen Electors. The comprehensive booklet outlines essential provisions available to PwDs and senior citizens, including infrastructural, informative, and procedural details at polling stations, as well as the applicability and procedure for Postal Ballots, facilitating a smooth and pleasurable voting experience.

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