Odisha: Neglect charge against school for special children

The school offers education from pre-primary to Class VII with a sanctioned student strength of 90 children with intellectual disabilities and 80 blind and deaf students.
Handicapped Welfare Institute. (Photo | handicappedwelfareinstitute.com)
Handicapped Welfare Institute. (Photo | handicappedwelfareinstitute.com)

BALASORE: The state government has directed Balasore collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde to inquire into the allegations of poor quality education at Handicapped Welfare Institute, a school for special children here. The school, which caters to the educational needs of blind, deaf and children with intellectual disabilities, has been receiving grant-in-aid (GIA) from the government since 1987.

Disability rights activist Dibakar Shaw, who filed a complaint against the school management with the department of SSEPD, claimed the institution was violating the RPwD Act 2016 and the GIA guidelines of the department.

The school offers education from pre-primary to Class VII with a sanctioned student strength of 90 children with intellectual disabilities and 80 blind and deaf students. Over the years, the number of children with intellectual disabilities has come down to 55 while there are only 18 blind and deaf students due to lack of quality teachers and infrastructure.

Locals alleged that apart from lack of teachers, there are no basic amenities like drinking water and bathrooms which is why students are dropping out. While the school authorities refused to comment, the department has asked the collector to submit a report on the allegations.

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The New Indian Express
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