Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Will Odisha CM heed the call of these differently-abled villagers?

Daily News and Analysis, June 30, 2015
21 differently-abled people reached Bhubaneswar hoping to avail benefits of govt schemes meant for them...
disha state government might be spending lakhs of rupees on the welfare schemes meant to uplift the differently people in the state, nonetheless the benefits of the schemes have failed to trickle down to the needy. To draw attention to their wretched condition, 21 differently-abled people from Kalahandi vilage reached CM Naveen Patnaik's office on Monday and sought help from the government authorities crying helplessness.

Grieving that the local heads – Sarpanchs, BDOs and Collector – have closed their doors for these people, the differently-abled villagers submitted individual pleas addressed to CM where they listed their complaints.

“I am here today to request the CM to help me avail the benefits of Rural Housing Indira Awas Yojna. I cannot walk without stick since childhood. After death of my parents, my brothers asked me to leave home as I could not earn money due to my disability. Since then, I am earning my means by begging. But I cannot beg forever,” laments 55-year-old Shasi Senapati, who resides in Shergargh village.

Senapati says that he has already run errands to the BDO and Collector Office in his district but to no avail. “I satisfy all the eligibility criteria to avail the schemes. Apart from Rs 300, I have been getting pension for the differently-abled on montly basis, yet that is not enough to survive,” he says. Senpati has appealed to the CM to provide him with a home under the welfare scheme.

Another visually impaired local from Shergarh village shared his story with iamin. "My vision was first affected when I was in school. By the time I reached college, I was blind in both the eyes. I come from a BPL (Below Poverty Line) family, and I am the only son of my parent. My parents have faced a lot of difficulty in raising me and educating me. Now that I am qualified, unemployment is hampering my growth,” confides Puna Nayak saying that he is in desperate need of a job.

The Government of India has reserved 3 percent vacancies against identified posts in Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ for the differently-abled. Nayak has registered his name at Special Employment Exchanges for the Physically Handicapped in Bhubaneswar. “I have also registered my name at Special Cells for the handicapped in Kalahandi through which circulation of vacancies for the handicapped in Group “C” and “D” posts of state/central government is made, but I am yet to receive any intimation or call for any job,” he adds.

Affected by polio and rejected by society, Anita jain from Utkela village wears desolate expressions on her face. “Nobody wants to marry me because of my disability. I don’t want to continue to burden my family,”shares Anita adding, “I am learning tailoring from a local vocational training center so that I can set up my own tailoring shop. I even applied for a loan last year but the request was not approved.

Anita says that she fulfils all the eligibility criteria to avail economic assistance by government. “My family comes under BPL category and our annual income does not exceed Rs 6,400 just like the government criteria highlights, but still I am running door to door to get my loan sanctioned. Apart from this, I have also sent an appeal to the CM to include me under Madhubabu Pension Yojna.”

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