Odisha Govt Committed To Include PwDs In Society’s Mainstream, Says Minister

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is determined to bring the persons with disabilities (PwDs) into the mainstream and establish an inclusive society, said Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of Social Security and Empowerment of PwDs.


Addressing the inaugural function of a 3-day programme, organised by the department to mark the International Day of PwDs in Bhubaneswar, Panda said this year’s theme “United in action to rescue and achieve sustainable development goals for, with and by PwDs” is aimed at championing inclusivity in all spheres – social, economic and cultural.

Highlighting various welfare measures to empower the PwDs, the minister said energy and potential in them should be meaningfully utilised to make them responsible partners in socio-economic growth.

Achyuta Samanta, MP, Kandhamal, said PwDs must be treated with equal dignity, opportunities, rights and livelihood. Inclusion requires more contact and awareness among civil society, he said and emphasised on the spread of education among PwDs for sustained growth.

Bishnupada Sethi, principal secretary, SSEPD, in his remarks said several schemes and programmes of the government have brought visible transformation in the life of PwDs. “To diminish and bridge the disparity meted out to persons with disabilities, we must come together and embrace them with open arms and warmth,” he added.

MLAs Ananta Narayan Jena and Susant Kumar Rout, Dillip K Ray, special secretary, SSEPD and Director Niyati Pattnaik also spoke on the occasion.

The 3-day event includes a painting exhibition, 40 stalls opened by various stakeholders of SSEPD department, cultural programmes, film shows, discussion on different topics related to the PwDs and a walkathon. A health camp organised at State Institute for Empowerment of PwDs (SIEP) will continue for 3 days at Pokhariput in the city.

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