BHUBANESWAR: The Women and Child Welfare Department has been asked to identify the problems during the multi-dimensional interventions for rehabilitation of differentially-abled persons.
Presiding over a high-level meeting here on Tuesday, Chief Secretary BK Patnaik advised the department to prioritise the requirements and take up 15 specific action points for bridging critical gaps in successful implementation of the recommended strategies.
According to the findings of a field level study conducted by Swabhiman, a leading voluntary organisation working for the welfare of the disabled persons, with support from the W&CD Department, awareness among the family members about the Persons with Disability Act is very low and around 49 per cent of the differently abled persons possess disability certificate.
The findings of the study titled “A profile of Disability in Odisha- Trends, Development and Dynamics” was discussed at the meeting. Three blocks of each district and nine villages from each block were selected for random sampling for the study.
The findings of the study reveal that 92.5 per cent of the respondents were aware of physical disabilities and only 50 per cent were aware of learning disabilities. While 64 per cent of the disabilities in the State are congenital, 30 per cent due to accidents and serious illness during childhood.
The meeting decided to prioritise the activities like intensive awareness campaign on facilities and services available for disabilities, training of teachers at primary and secondary level on sign language and regular training modules on welfare of disabled persons in training programme of the Government officers in different departments, including Odisha Administrative Service (OAS).
Ensuring accessibility of disabled to all public buildings, institutions, offices and courts by way of providing supportive structural design, ensuring reservation of hostel seats for differently-abled students in colleges and universities, providing software for facilitating the learning process of differently abled in libraries of all Government degree and pre-degree colleges and devising livelihood interventions to enable them earn their livelihood in mainstream of society are the other activities to be taken up on priority.
Women and Child Development Secretary Arati Ahuja, Higher Education Secretary Aparajita Sarangi, School and Mass Education Secretary Rajesh Verma, Director, W&CD, Sujata Karthikeyan, State Commission for Disability Chairperson Kasturi Mohapatra and chief executive of Swabhiman Sruti Mohapatra participated in the discussion.