Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Disabled denied jobs despite quota

Disabled denied jobs despite quota

Debabrata Mohapatra, TNN Sep 1, 2012, 04.12AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik's promise to provide 3%reservation to physically-challenged people in the state employment sector seems to be far from being realized. A few disabled persons, including a woman from Puri, on Friday staged a protest near the office of the State Commission for Persons with Disability in Bhubaneswar, alleging nonchalance on part of the government in providing them jobs. Though the disability commission, during a camp court in Puri on April 4, had directed the district project coordinator (DPC) of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to appoint the four persons as Sikshya Sahayaks basing on their merit, its implementation is still a distant dream.

"I am running from pillar to post to get the job. In the camp court, the DPC promised me appointment in the presence of the disability commissioner, but to no avail," said a visually impaired Bikram Jena (24) of Brahmagiri block. "I applied for the post of Sikshya Sahayak in 2006. I was then assured of a job. But it is still on paper only," said Sriyarani Dei of Kakatpur block, who comes under the orthopedically handicapped (OH) category.
Chairperson of the disability commission Kasturi Mohapatra expressed anguish at Puri DPC Abhay Nayak ignoring her order. She summoned Nayak to her office here on Friday and asked him to give appointments to the complainants at the earliest.
"It should not have happened. The DPC has assured me to execute the order soon. The complainants would get justice," Mohapatra said.
Sanyas Behera, coordinator of Odisha Disabled People' Network (ODPN), alleged that a few people bagged jobs by forging their disability certificates and marksheets. "Though guidelines clearly say that only persons with 40% and above disability are eligible for the job, an RTI information showed that a person with 38% disability got the job in Kakatpur in 2006," Behera said, adding, "There is a clear nexus between the DPC and unscrupulous applicants. A high level probe should be ordered by the chief minister."
K Anand Rao, another ODPN coordinator, demanded action against the DPC for ignoring the order of the disability commission. DPC Abhay Nayak, however, denied allegations of irregularity in appointment. "There was no irregularity in the appointment of the Sikshya Sahayaks. We appointed physically handicapped people in the reserved category. The complainants would be given jobs when vacancies occur," he said.

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