“DON'T BE AFRAID OF DISABLED AND DISABILITY”
Dhenkanal,29/08/19: With little support from the people around them the disabled persons can do wonders. Founder of Swabhiman, an organisation working towards empowering the persons with disabilities, Dr Sruti Mohapatra sent across this simple message to the students of IIMC, Dhenkanal. Sharing his plight from being an IAS aspirant to getting wheelchair bound, she explained how people need to be more aware of the potentials of disabled persons.
She spoke at length on her personal experience and highlighted the achievements of many others in a one-day workshop on Disability Issues on August 29. Shruti Mahapatra urged the students not to be frightened of diability and disabled and act as a facilitator.
The workshop started with a quiz round aiming at acknowledging the efforts of the disabled people who are living a life just as anyone else and being the better version of themselves. The students were also encouraged to try different activities like walking blindfolded, using the wheelchair and performing different creative works with their feet or folded hands to understand the day to day problems of the disabled people.
Senior journalist of Times of India Minati Singha deliberated on the correct way to report on disability and disabled cases. “Don’t show pity to a disabled and offer assistance with respect," she said.
Dr. Mrinal Chatterjee, Regional Director, IIMC, Dhenkanal in his opening remarks described Sruti Mohapatra as an icon of human possibility, of what a person can do despite difficulties in life.
55-year old Dr Sruti Mohapatra met with a road accident that damaged her spinal cord and it dashed her hope of becoming an IAS officer despite having cleared the examination. She now travels across the globe fighting for the rights of disabled people.
The workshop came to an end with an interactive question answer discussion between the students and the speakers.
Dr Mrinal Chatterjee, on behalf of IIMC, also presented both Mahapatra and Singha with hand-painted pebble-paperweight as a memento.