Bhubaneswar, Jan. 24: Parents of differently-abled children have submitted a proposal to the state government for a comprehensive centre for the disabled in the city.
The proposal to set up such a facility was given on January 22 by Parivaar, a national confederation of parents based in New Delhi. The proposal was sent to the state government's department of social security and empowerment of persons with disabilities. The proposal envisages a centre in the state capital that will be barrier free and have other disability accessible features. Such a centre is already functioning in Navi Mumbai.
Vijay Kant of Parivaar said the proposal envisages setting up the Bhubaneswar facility on the lines of the one in Navi Mumbai. The centre would be a one-stop resource centre to provide rehabilitation, parent literacy programmes, identification of differently-abled through surveys, medical check-up camps and counselling and guidance to parents of persons with disabilities. Besides, the centre will also provide residential facilities, a platform for socialisation, all information related to disability, treatment options and related resources.
The centre at Navi Mumbai provides free education to differently-abled children along with a specially designed uniform, teaching-learning material and appliances. The centre also provides free food, therapies and intervention, auditory training, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychology tests for parents of differently-abled children.
According to the Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan, children with disability are to get education in regular schools. Kant said to accomplish this task, the centre would provide training to regular teachers to enable them to handle differently-abled children in an empathetic way. The centre will also provide employment assistance to persons with disability.
Sruti Mohapatra, founder of Swabhiman, an NGO working for the welfare of differently-abled children in Odisha, said the move was welcome. "However, segregating children with special abilities should be done carefully so as not to let them feel left out of the mainstream," she added.
An official of the state department of social security and empowerment of persons with disabilities said the proposal had been forwarded to the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).
BMC commissioner Krishan Kumar said the proposal had been received and would be considered after a meeting is held with all stakeholders.