Differently-abled job aspirants staring at an uncertain future in Odisha

Rayagada: Despite plethora of government-sponsored welfare schemes, the future of several differently abled (divyang) job aspirants from Rayagada and Kalahandi continues to be grim, thanks to lack of coordination between government agencies.

Some divyang candidates of both the districts have alleged that they have been deprived of getting Sikshya Sahayak jobs since 2016 due to lack of coordination between Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department and School and Mass Education department (S&ME).

Protesting the government’s apathy over the issue, the aspirants have been staging dharna at the Lower PMG here since December 10.

The divyang candidates alleged that they had applied for Sikshya Sahayak posts based on the concerned district authorities’ Disability proof which had certified them of permanent disability. However, the Appellate Medical Board which tested their medical fitness certified that they were temporary disabled, which led to withhold of their application.

Though the SSEPD department has a provision of Sikshya Sahayak posts for disabled candidates with disability of more than 40 percent, the S&ME department has ruled that there is no provision for job for temporary disability.

“The SSEPD has ruled that irrespective of nature, any candidates with disability not less than 40 percent is fully elgible for the Sikshya Sahayak posts. All other departments have already approved the rule and are appointing based on the 7140/05.09.2017 norm but the School and Mass Education department has not accepted the rule due to which our future is hanging on balance,” said an aspirant Ranjita Padhi.

Ganesh Behera, another applicant said, “The CDMO had provided a certificate mentioning 75 percent permanent disbaility. But during medical testing by the Kalahandi DPC, the doctor certified me as 100 porcent temporary disabled due to which my candidature for Sikshya Sahayak post was withheld. We hope that the government agencies coordinate to resolve the matter.”

Meanwhile, the concerned authorities are yet to comment on the matter.