Elections 2021: poll staff share the good and not-so-good experiences

The basic facilities for women in the polling booths were not totally to their liking.
Women officials serving at the polling booths in and around Alwarpet, Mylapore and R A Puram said that they felt safe since the security was good, though there was a high risk of the spread of the corona virus.

They were provided with gloves, sanitisers and masks.

Women officials we spoke to on Tuesday evening said that booths had all the required provisions like drinking water, separate washrooms and rooms with proper ventilation and spaces enough to follow SOPs of pandemic time.

In some booths, we saw table fans set up  for officials but it was not clear if these were provided by EC or brought by the staff.

But in some other booths, the rooms were jam packed with people and there was poor ventilation,
Poll staff had to use a common washroom – used by both men and women.

Women poll staff said there was no provision of pads or sanitation for menstruating women.

All the officials we spoke to at a few booths were not happy about the food that was provided. They said that they weren’t provided with proper breakfast, lunch and refreshments and had to ask their relatives
or friends to bring food.

Said one staff, “An election  is like a wedding in a family. Every visitor is made happy but the pressure is taken on only by the family members of the marrying couple and they have to keep adjusting as the wedding is on.”

  • Report by Aishwarya, intern at Mylapore Times

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