32nd Foundation Day SMRCBy SMRC, Jul 18, 2017
Ashok Hans Memorial Lecture & Award
Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre celebrated its 32nd Foundation Day on 18th July 2017 at Press Club of Odisha. The program started with the welcome address by Chumki Dutta, SMRC Board Member. On this occasion Jeeja Ghosh, a renowned Disability Activist of Kolkata delivered the 5th Ashok Hans Memorial Lecture. Chief Guest of the program, Shri Niten Chandra, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Odisha, presented the Ashok Hans Memorial Award to Sannyasi Behera, OAS.
In his speech, the Principal Secretary said he is very happy to be a part of such event as this kind of program helps people to understand that persons with disabilities are equally capable, if they are given equal opportunities and scope. He also shared that Jeeja Ghosh is an inspiration for many as she has overcome the challenges and difficulties with a steady, calm and un-breaking persistence. He further added the documentary “I am Jeeja” motivates both people with and without disabilities who face hardships in their lives. This year 20 persons with disabilities have been qualifies in the Odisha Civil Service Examination and government has played a very crucial role in it. It is a momentous achievement for the Government of Odisha, which has been highlighted at Government of India meetings. It sets a standard for Central as well as other State Governments.
Guest of Honour, Shri Aurobindo Behera, IAS (Retd.) highlighted that Government of Odisha has created a separate department Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for welfare of the people who were earlier not getting proper attention. He said “listening to Jeeja Ghosh is a great experience for him. She with her struggle and dedication has made a positive impact on the society. She is a role model for us. Jeeja said relevant points in her presentation such as Intersection of gender and disability and equality rather than charity. She rightly pointed out that laws and policies can certainly help people with disabilities but what is more important is attitude of people”. Prof. Ashok Sar chaired the session.
SMRC organized talent hunt programs at 10 special schools of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in the month of July. About 200 children with disabilities participated in the talent hunt and two children from each school were selected as winners. Those 20 children with disabilities were given prizes at the ceremony by Shri Aurobindo Behera, IAS (Retd.). Reena Mohanty, Program Manager, SMRC gave the vote of thanks and the program came to an end with the closing song by Raja, a boy with visual impairment. About 140 people gathered in the program.