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Indian state to conduct survey on children with disabilities

12 years old Suraj Raghuvansi with cerebral palsy smiling at Rehab Center in Bhopal.
Photo: Dreamstime

The Odisha State government has planned to conduct a comprehensive survey of children with disabilities to initiate timely interventions for their rehabilitation and mainstreaming to lead an everyday life.

The survey will be conducted by the Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department in collaboration with the Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti department. Anganwadi workers and ICDS supervisors will be engaged in identifying the children aged up to six years and with disabilities.

“Around 70 percent of disabilities are preventable if detected and treated early. Initially, we will survey to identify the children with disabilities so that they can be provided treatment at the right time,” said Bhaskar Jyoti Sarma, Secretary of SSEPD department.

“A system would develop to identify such cases at the time of birth as part of the mandate given under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. As per the decision, Anganwadi workers will monitor incidents of birth of children with disabilities in their operation area and report to their supervisors.” said Sarma.

The block officials will compile the data and submit it to the department. Usually, persons with disabilities are identified once they apply for education, a job, or a pension. But there is no system in place to identify children below six years. Most of them have a hearing disability or mobility disability, which are preventable if treated at the right age.

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