MALKANGIRI: For the first time, a sensitization program for people with disabilities was held at the remote Bonda Hills in the tribal-dominated Malkangiri district on Tuesday.
Held at Mudulipada panchayat under Khairput block, the event aimed to make the physically challenged among the indigenous tribe aware about their rights and entitlements. The hill is home to over 7,500 Bondas, a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG).
Speaking on the occasion, State Commissioner for persons with disabilities (PwDs) Sulochana Das said physically challenged persons living in the interior and remote areas are not aware about their rights. The Bonda tribe lives in one of the remotest areas of the country and the community members need more focus from the administration, people’s representatives and voluntary organisations.
“There are schools for the challenged children and for youths, there are skilled training centres and reservation in government jobs. Besides, the government encourages PwDs to form self-help groups with loan facilities for becoming self-reliant,” she said.
Das appealed to the district officials and people’s representatives to extend all help to PwDs on Bonda Hills to ensure that they avail the benefits provided by the government. She also urged parents to encourage their disabled children to grow up normally.
Process is on to identify PwDs living in Mudulipada and Andrahal panchayats. The Bhima Bhoi Samarthya Sibira will be held within a month in the area to distribute certificates and assisting devices to the disabled persons, Das informed.
The programme was attended by over 200 villagers including several persons with disabilities.