Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Parsad Padhi visited newly formed department of Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SS&EPD) and reviewed the activities of the department in the office chamber of the Secretary Sri Saswat Mishra who presented the updates and outlined the issues for discussion.
Reviewing the progress, Chief Secretary has advised the departments to focus on conformation to disability reservation norms in all Govt. PSU recruitment, education of the deferentially able children and proper training of the teachers engaged in special schools. The department has also been advised to prepare definite action plan for high cost appliances support at an early age.
Available data shows that as per 2011 census, the differently able population in Odisha is around 12,44,402 among whom visually impaired are around 2,63,799, hearing impaired are 2,37,858, speech impaired are 68,517, orthopedically impaired are 2,59,899, mentally retarded are 72,399, persons suffering from mental illness are 42,837, persons with multiple disability are 1,26,212 and around 1,72,881 are the victim of other disabilities.
Secretary Sri Mishra appraised that as of now 7.61 lakh certificates have been issued to differently able persons which enables them to avail the services under various schemes from different departments. Three Appellate Medical Boards one each at Govt Medical Colleges & Hospitals at Cuttack, Berhampur and Burla have been also constituted.
Various schemes like Bhimabhoi-Bhinna Khyama Samarthya Yojana, Special Aids & Appliances from State Budget, High Cost Assistive Devices & Corrective Surgeries with CSR support, Sougamya Bharat Scheme, travel concession, club foot clinics etc have been rolled out. Grant–in-Aid have also been provided to 51 number of special schools for differently able children. Near about 40,078 such children have been covered under Banishree Scholarship, 2,135 covered under Pre-Matric Scholarship and 773 covered under Post-Matric scholarship .
Besides, 3700 students in special schools have been provided school uniforms, and class 6th students have been provided free laptop along with voice recorder. For providing employment opportunities to differently able persons, provisions have been made for 3% reservation in Govt. PSU and Contractual posts. DRI loan has been provided top 2,797 persons during 2014-15.
Around 3,12, 945 persons have been covered under disability pension schemes like MBPY and IGNDP. Marriage incentive has also been awarded to 74 persons during 2014-15. Issues relating to trans-gender, welfare of senior citizens, skill development, auto inclusion of persons with disability in NFSA etc were also discussed in the meeting. Seniors officers of the department participated in the review.