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ODPN Campaign for PwDs OF Sikhya Sahayak

SPECIAL MEDICAL BOARD IN GANJAM DISTRICT FOR THE SELECTED PWDs OF SIKHYA SAHAYAK
On 8th & 11th April 2011 ODPN members K. Ananda, Miss Deepti Dash and Sananda Nag along with two officials of Ganjam District Orthopaedically Handicapped Welfare Association, Chatrapur attended the special medical board at Berhampur conducted by CDMO, Ganjam with the DPC Sarvasikhya Abhiyan. Over the two days, 184 PwDs were called for physical verification, only 98 attended, out of which 42 were disqualified as they were found to have below 40% disability.

It emerged from the board that many people from Ganjam are receiving medical certificates for 50-60% disability when in reality they do not have this level of disability. 50% of disqualified PWDs have 0% disability though they produced the certificates of having more than 60% disability. This is not only the case in Ganjam District - many fraud certificate holders of these above Districts have applied in Gajapati, Phulbani, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput and Boudh etc. A surprising discovery is that despite knowing that many fraud certificate holders have applied for Sikhya Sahayak and been selected as per the available certificates, still many Districts have not conducted a special medical board before giving appointments to the PWDs. Hence, all the Districts should conduct special medical board for the PWDs who have been selected for Sikhya Sahayak for the greater interest of the actual PwDs of Orissa.

Throughout April, the ODPN members visited DPC and Collector offices in Puri, Ganjam, Phulbani, Kandhamal, Gajapati and Bhubaneswar. They made appointments to discuss this issue with authorities, highlight any cases of fraud and notify them of the legal necessity to carry out medical checks prior to issuing Sikhya Sahayak certificates.

STRIKE AT COLLECTOR OFFICE, PURI
On 19th April the ODPN members joined with PwDs from Ganjam Puri, Sambalpur, Baragarh and Keonjhar united in strike outside of the office of the Collector, Puri. The strike was in retaliation against the backlog of posts of Sikhya Sahayak and the lack of response from the Collector/DPC to our grievances. The strike became front page news, was covered in almost all the leading news papers like Samaj, Sambad, Matrubhasa, AnupamaBharat and Sruti and aired on ETV, OTV, NAXATRA TV, KAMIYAB TV.

In response to the strike, The IIC Town Police Station, Puri along with Sub-Collector, Puri have discussed with our delegates and promised to solve the problem within a week. After discussing with the Collector and DPC, Puri the Sub-Collector has issued a written assurance letter and as per his assurance we called off the strike by 6PM of 20th April 2011.
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