During the year 2008-09 we have formed more than two hundred groups of persons with disabilities. These groups are heterogeneous in nature i.e. having both male & female PWD members. At first all the banks have denied to register these groups & open accounts in their names. But our PWD friends by learning many things in the panchayat level & block level meetings have demanded their rights in all the banks as a result of which many banks have agreed to register their names & opened accounts in their names but some of the banks have not listened their demands. Then our PWD friends have made a dharana before the District Administration & by discussion with these PWD friends Collector Ganjam have send a request letter to the administrative officers of Mahila Vikash Samabaya Nigam seeking information whether these PWD groups of heterogeneous are eligible for registration as SHG groups or not. The answer of this letter is not received upto now.
In the year 2009-10 we have requested the State Project Director of Odisha Primary Education Project Authority (OPEPA) to conduct a State Level Workshop on UNCRPD for the District Project Co-ordinators of Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan. Initially he has refused to conduct the workshop but after several personal meetings he has called the DPCs to attend the workshop. He personally presided the inaugural session of the workshop and invited State Commissioner for Persons with Disability as the Chief Guest and Sri Sanyas Kumar Behera as the Chief Speaker. He also instructed all his officials to remain in the workshop. After the workshop he had requested the department to take some necessary steps as per our request letter to avoid many irregularities in the appointment of Sikhya Sahayak for the PWDs of Odisha. The State Commissioner for Persons with Disability has also instructed the Department about the same.
Previously the transport allowance was given by the SSA to the parents of the disabled children but after this workshop the DPC has agreed to amend their existing rules and decided to send the revised guideline to the DPCs that transport allowance will be given to the actual escorts of the disabled children or to the disabled children itself which is a great success story of our advocacy programme.
In the year 2011 the Govt. of India has appointed one inclusive education volunteer for each two GPs for which Govt. of India has sanctioned Rs. 3,000/- per each IEV. But instead of giving Rs. 3,000/- per IEV, Odisha Govt. has used to give Rs. 2,500/- per month per IEV. When this has came to our notice we have raised this issue in the state coordination committee meeting when the National Raportear of National Human Rights Commission Sri Prasanna Pincha was present in the meeting. This was presented before the Chair Person of National Human Rights Commission and the Chair Person have informed the same to the Chief Secretary of Odisha. This way we have persued in the Official Level. In another way we have formed District Level forums of IEVs in each District and conducted Dharanas before the Office of the Collector in each District and presented the memorandums to the Govt. and also conducted a mega strike before the State Legislative Assembly. Then Govt. has called the team for discussion and then agreed to raise their salary for Rs. 3,000/- per month.
Again after one year Govt. of India has abolished all the IEVs posts and retrenched them from their posts. Again we have conducted a big Dharana before the State Legislative Assembly and presented a memorandum by giving ultimatum that if all the IEVs will not reinsisted then the Assembly will be made with a big Gherau/ Protest. Then the Govt. again called for discussion and agreed to appoint all the IEVs from state Govt. policy and accordingly the budget has allocated. And this is the one of the greatest success story of our advocacy work.
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