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Activists demand a PWD as disability body head

Bhubaneswar: Activists and representatives of NGOs from across the state working in the field of disability rights are voicing their demand to appoint a person with a disability as the State Commissioner for the office of Persons with Disabilities Department in Odisha.

The post has been vacant after Sulochana Das resigned after being nominated as a Mayor candidate for the recent Bhubaneswar Municipal election.

A meeting was held at Bharatiya Bidya Bhavan on Monday, where the activists and NGO representatives discussed the issue. Later, they submitted a memorandum to the CM office.

“We have been demanding for the last several years to appoint a person with a disability in that post. As per the central government guidelines, if there are suitable educated candidates with necessary experience from the disability community then they should be given the opportunity or anybody else be appointed. In Odisha, we have many qualified and experienced people from the community, but the state government is not emphasising on this,” said disability rights activist Jitendra Biswal. 

“Since the post is vacant, the state government should appoint a person with a disability in that position this time. Then he or she will be able to understand their problem,” he added.

Jitendra also raised the issue in social media which has been garnering support from many from across the country. Political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla and senior journalists Rajdeep Sardesai also tweeted in support of the demand.

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