Reasonable Accommodation (2018-2019).
Manisha Priyadarshini was born to a humble family of a temple priest of Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar. In the hope of getting her paralyzed lower body to function, which was orthopedically impaired since birth, her mother made endless trips to reputed hospitals across Odisha such as SCB Medical College and Hospital, Katak and SVNIRTAR, Olatpur. Unhappy with the birth of a baby girl and her disability, the father deserted his wife and daughter. With the support of her parents, Manisha’s mother, helped her daughter grow up with minimum resources but endless love. However, her teachers at school, relatives, and neighbours were not cooperative.
After Swabhiman’s intervention through Project Saksham, she dramatically improved. Shy Manisha, with her appropriate wheelchair and walker, physiotherapy sessions and the loving care of facilitators from Swabhiman, blossomed into a brilliant, hard-working student, winning academic accolades, prizes in art, dancing, and various crafts. This spectacular growth led to not only acceptance in school but appreciation from the neighbours, relatives and the community at large. She was provided tuitions, yoga sessions, exposure trips to various places, dance, music and art classes after health assessment and therapy.
Finally, due to her hard work, dedication and motivation, she was able to qualify in the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) entrance examination and got admission in JNV at Khordha in class 6th. She ranked first in the examination among all disabled and non-disabled children at the district level. Though there is provision for a caretaker in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya for CwDs but till date, no caretaker is available to take care of Manisha in the school. So, her mother needed to stay and assist her in her day-to-day activities. However, the Principal refused.
Swabhiman approached Regional Director, Navodaya Vidyalaya and on his lack of response, also wrote to Chief Minister Odisha, SCPD and finally, Chief Commissioner Disabilities in New Delhi. It took six months but the battle was won and JNV Khordha constructed a special room in the hostel and permitted Manisha’s mother to stay with her.