Abhigyata - Awareness about Disability.
More than 20 crores or 200 million or two thousand lakhs of people in India live with one or more disabilities. In Odisha, by most conservative estimates it is between 60-70 lakhs. These people are often invisible to the others, are the poorest and face many barriers, including physical discrimination and that in attitude.
Aim of the Disability Awareness programs is to educate people. Firstly, to educate society to decimate negative and ill-informed attitudes, and making them aware of the fact that disability can happen at any point in life, and despite disabilities, people are living productive and constructive lives. And secondly, making persons with disabilities aware of their disability, its impact, their abilities despite the bodily impairments, and existing laws, government schemes, policies and entitlements.
Anjali International Children’s and Youth Festival in an entertaining manner spread awareness about disability inclusion, rights of children with disabilities, joyful and inclusive learning, and sensitises youth to become ambassadors of the cause.
Sashakt is a multi-level, multi-stakeholder campaign to build awareness on the new law on disability (RPwD Act 2016) and the existing government facilities among persons with disabilities and government officers, and create awareness for an inclusive and accessible environment in society at large.
Prerana Samman honours students with disabilities who have secured 75% or above mark in the matriculation examination and +2 examinations. This is a state-level program which inspires with students with disabilities and persuades other children to strive for excellence in an environment where books and teachers are scarce for students with special needs.
International Day of Disabled Persons
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by the UN. Swabhiman and OSdN partners celebrate it on December 3, every year, to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
Swabhiman celebrates Jan 4 – Braille day, January 30 – Leprosy day, 2 April – Autism day, Mar 1 – International Wheelchair day, Mar 8 – International Women’s day, Mar 21 – Downs Syndrome day, Apr 7 – World Health day, Apr 11 – Parkinson’s day, Apr 17 – World Haemophilia day and many more.
Art for change / Public Art
Art for Change / Public Art is celebrated in March after the school finals are over. Children, disabled and non-disabled, spend a day together creating art in many mediums on issues of environmental importance.
We can dance/sing
We can Dance/Sing is held in mainstream schools in March-April every year. Children and youth with disabilities perform for students in regular schools.
Exhibitions of various kinds are held across the state to create awareness about disabilities, inclusion, laws, icons, accessibility, literature etc.
Accessibility in Smart City Bhubaneswar and Rourkela
Swabhiman is an ardent advocate of accessibility. As accessibility partner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) it helped in its own small way for Bhubaneswar getting a top rank among smart city projects in India.
To design and emphasize the need for a more inclusive and accessible approach to Smart Cities, a seminar was organised in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on 28th March 2017 by Swabhiman and BDA as part of urban lectures being organized by BDA. National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), BMC (Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation) Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd and Mphasis Bangalore partnered the project. It stressed the importance of integrating elements of Universal Design right at the design and development stages of the smart city initiatives. Among the panellists were international accessibility expert and Vice-President, Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), James Thurston who heads the global campaign on 'Accessible Smart Cities' at G3ict; R. Balakrishnan, IAS, Development Commissioner-cum-Add. Chief Secretary to Govt. of Odisha; Krishna Kumar IAS, Vice Chairman BDA and Commissioner BMC; R. Vineel Krishna, IAS, CEO, Smart City Bhubaneswar; Javed Abidi, Global Chair DPI –International and Honorary Director, NCPEDP; Shilpi Kapoor, Founder, Barrier Break; Meenu Bhambhani, VP and Head - CSR, Mphasis, and Dr Sruti Mohapatra, Chief Executive Officer, Swabhiman. The whole session was interpreted by sign language expert Mr Pramod Mohapatra.
It penned several letters to Rourkela Smart City CEO, ADM and P.K Singh, Chairman, RSP for setting up of a Resource Centre For Accessibility Solution For Smart City (2017 & 2018).