"Profile on Disability in Odisha": A Survey Conducted by Swabhiman

From The Times of India:

BHUBANESWAR: Are persons with disability(PWD) living a happy life in the state? A recent study has brought out many a startling fact about them that can leave you gaping in wonder. For example, only 36.5 of the disabled persons have life partners. Besides, while 52.3 per cent PWDs have access to family dining, 41.2 per cent are not involved in household chores at all. Only 47 per cent of the disabled persons desire to become parents. The facts were revealed by "Profile on Disability in Odisha", a survey conducted by Swabhiman, a voluntary organization, in association with the department of women and child development. The report was released here on Wednesday.

The survey also pointed out that only 22.2 per cent disabled persons earn their livelihood and the rest 77.8 per cent survive as dependants. Most of the PWDs belonged to lower strata of the society as about 45 per cent of them run small businesses while 29 per cent are daily wage earners.
Releasing the report, governor M C Bhandare said, "This is a laudable initiative and an eye-opener for the state government. It is a joint responsibility of both the state and public to support and help these differently-abled persons live a decent life. The data in the survey show a very dismal picture about the status of life and livelihood of the disabled persons in the state and steps must be taken to help them out."

The report mentioned that 69 per cent public buildings and 99 per cent financial institutes in the state are completely inaccessible for PWDs. Furthermore, 91 per cent corporate and business houses and 95 per cent judicial institutes in the state don't have ramps. The physically challenged persons don't get any kind of assistance in the form of sign language, interpreters and Braille material in these institutes.

On education front, only 9.1 per cent of the PWDs are matriculates, 3.3 per cent are graduates and a meagre 0.9 per cent have post graduate degree. This apart, only 0.2 per cent of them have some kind of technical degree. No school, college or university in the state is barrier free, the report mentioned.

The founder of the voluntary body, Sruti Mohapatra, said, "The survey has revealed many startling facts about the socio-economic condition of persons with disabilities in the state. It also points out gaps in the process of mainstreaming them. All stake holders including the government, policy makers, corporate houses, the civil society and disabled people's organizations must work in tandem to create a friendly environment for them in the state. There should be proper budget allocation and inclusive policies for PWDs."


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