Paving A Path For The Differently Abled
There was a Regional Youth Leadership Training and Empowerment Programme (YLTEP 3) held in NIT Rourkela from 19th to 21st September 2018. The program was specifically organized for youth with disabilities who are currently pursuing their higher education from various institutions of Odisha but primarily residents of 10 western Odisha districts. The event was organized jointly by the trusts Swabhiman and Shradha, along with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, NIT Rourkela. The programme was sponsored by the Odisha State Beverage Corporation Limited, Bhubaneswar.
The programme happens in 4 regions of Odisha and Rourkela happened to be the 4th region where it was held. From every region, youth with disabilities attend the training program. The main aim of this training program is to build on the communication skills of the participants and instill in them leadership skills.
The programme started with the inaugural ceremony, with the event being graced by Ms. Monisha Banerjee, Additional District Magistrate, Rourkela, Dr. Animesh Biswas, Director, NIT Rourkela, and Prof. R. K. Biswal, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, NIT Rourkela who later on inaugurated the event with the Diya lighting ceremony.
Ms. Monisha Banerjee in her speech gave us a few instances where disabled people have proved the society’s notions wrong. She said,
There were a few visually impaired people who go for trekking and successfully complete it, despite facing numerous difficulties in their way. There are several IAS participants among physically challenged people, who clear the civil services examinations with flying colors.
Workshops of such sort help them as well as the society to come forward and assist in the emancipation of disabled people. If they are allowed to work with their utmost potentials, they will surely take the nation a step forward towards the path of development. Therefore, we must frequently conduct such workshops and allow more and more people to participate so that the pace of development increases and they see a better tomorrow for themselves.
The Director, Dr. Animesh Biswas said,
We at NIT Rourkela are mindful of the fact that there are competent students with disabilities, we have started giving admissions to students with disabilities, and we are working on providing them with conducive facilities to make their stay at NIT as comfortable as possible.
Prof. R. K. Biswal said, in his speech, that people with disabilities are vulnerable because of the many barriers we face: attitudinal, physical and financial. Addressing these barriers is within our reach, and we have a moral duty to do so. But most importantly, addressing these barriers will unlock the potential of numerous people with so much to contribute to the world. Governments everywhere can no longer overlook the hundreds of millions of people with disabilities who are denied access to health, rehabilitation, support, education, and employment - and never get the chance to shine. Hence, higher educational Institutes like NITs, IITs and Universities must show the path to others by creating barrier-free, inclusive and accessible system for the people with disability.
The training program involved informative talks on writing comprehension, interview skills, career avenues, the role of youth leaders in nation building among others. There was also a film screened on disability awareness, “How You See Me”. To indulge the participants physically, treks and yoga sessions were organized as well.
The third day of the programme concluded with the words of wisdom and motivation by the Skill Development Officer, Dr. R. K. Sharma who not only explained the various initiatives and programmes by the Government of Odisha to empower the differently abled and make them self-sufficient to be at par with the normal people. He also inspired them to become role models for the rest of the generation to succeed at every step of their life. Certificates were then presented to the participants who despite many hardships had gathered the courage to come up and explore their potential in the sessions organized especially for building their confidence and imparting the strength to stand up to any challenge the society throws in.
Tokens of appreciation were presented to the guests, and a vote of thanks was delivered by Prof. R. K. Biswal concluding the programme and highlighting the sessions organized for the past three days. He also acknowledged the sincere efforts by the organizations Shradha and Swabhiman for organizing the event successfully and other volunteers for the smooth functioning of all the planned activities. He rested on a positive and hopeful note of a bigger and more successful event in the next edition. Team MM salutes such initiatives that help in the all-round development of the society by bringing every individual into the mainstream to succeed in their endeavours.