BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, Apr 24: Odisha Govt has initiated steps for preparation of a specific agenda of action for welfare of persons with disabilities.
Chief Secretary Sri Bijay Kumar Patnaik while presiding over a high-level meeting held in secretariat conference hall today has advised the W & C D Dept. to prepare this action plan. Problems of disability need to be handled with multidimensional interventions both short term and long term.
Chief Secretary has advised the department to prioritize the requirements and take up 15 specific action points for filling up critical gaps in successful implementation of recommended strategies. Various issues related with problems of disability and mainstreaming them to general society was discussed in the meeting. The findings of a filed level academic study entitled, “A profile of Disability in Odisha- Trends, Development and Dynamics” conducted by Swabhiman, a leading voluntary organization working for the causes of disabilities with support of W & C D department were presented and discussed in the meeting. Presentation reveals that the study was conducted across 30 districts. Three blocks were identified in each district and 9 villages from each block were selected on random sampling.
The findings of the study reveal that 92.5% of the respondents were aware about physical disabilities and only 50% were aware about learning disabilities. With regard to acquiring of disability it was found that 64% of disabilities in Odisha are acquired from birth or just after birth related complications; 30% are due to accidents, serious illness during childhood and 3% is due to stress. The study also reveals that there is very low level of awareness among the family members about Persons with Disability Act and around 49% of disabled posses the disability certificate.
Considering the findings of this study the meeting has decided to prioritize the activities like intensive awareness campaign on facilities and services available for disabilities, training of teachers at primary and secondary level on sign language, regular training modules on welfare of disables in training programme of the Government officers in different departments including Odisha Administrative Service, ensuring accessibility of disabled peopple to all public buildings, institutions, offices and courts by way of providing supportive structural design, ensuring reservation of hostel seats for differentially able students in colleges and universities, providing software for facilitating the learning process of differentially able in libraries of all Govt +3 and +2 colleges and devising livelihood interventions so as to enable them to earn their livelihood in mainstream of society.
Secretary Women & Child Developmnet Smt Arati ahuja, Secretary High Education Smt Aparajita Sadangi, Pr. Secretary, School & Mass Education Sri Rajesh Verma, Director W & C D Smt. Sujata R. Karthikeyan Chairman State Commission for Disability Smt Kasturi Mohapatra and Chief Executive of Swabhiman Dr.Sruti Mohapatra along with other senior officials participated in discussions.