Odisha will soon get three regional institutes to empower the differently-abled people in the state, Union minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot announced here on Monday.
Gehlot made the announcement while inaugurating a girls’ hostel at the National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (NIRTAR) at Olatpur near here.
“The three regional centres would be set up in keeping with the Centre’s commitment to the welfare of disabled persons,” Gehlot said while emphasizing that his ministry had undertaken a slew of welfare programmes for persons with disabilities in the country.
Director of NIRTAR S K Mohanty said regional centres of the Dehradun-based National Institute of Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Hyderabad-based National Institute of Mentally Handicapped (NIMH) and Chennai-based National Institute of Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities would soon start functioning in the state.
The Union minister also launched a disabled-friendly website (www.nirtar.nic.in) on the occasion after inaugurating the Girls’ Hostel of Nirtar, which was built at a cost of Rs 6.5 crore.
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Sudarshan Bhagat, who accompanied Gehlot, went around the facility distributing aid and appliances to about 200 disabled persons.
Earlier in the day, Odisha’s Minister for Disability Welfare Pranab Prakash Das had met Gehlot in Bhubaneswar and had submitted a memorandum demanding the setting up of regional centres of the three national institutes in the state.
The state government has already identified land on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar for establishment of NIEPMD, official sources said.
It has also identified land near NIRTAR at Olatpur for the other two institutes, the sources added.