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Odisha’s first divyang OAS officer Sanyasi Behera takes charge


Puri: Sanyasi Behera, first divyang OAS officer from the state with 100% blindness, assumed office as the trainee officer at the District Collectorate here.

He became the first visually impaired person to join the district Establishment department as the trainee officer.

After taking charge on Wednesday, Behera is doing entire office work through braille script.

Before joining the Collectorate office in Puri, he had undergone four-month training at the Gopabandhu Academy of Administration in Sambalpur.

Sanyasi Behera is the first divyang who had cracked prestigious Odisha Administrative Service (OAS) conducted by Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) in 2015. He was ranked 220 in the list of 670 selected candidates for the state civil services. He topped among 8 visually impaired and 5 hearing impaired candidates, who cleared the OPSC exam.

After completing matriculation at Bhima Bhoi Blind School, Behera had cleared his graduation in Arts in Blind College in New Delhi.

Against all odds in life, Sanyasi won and achieved the feat after fighting a prolonged legal battle against prohibition of physically challenged candidates from appearing OPSC examination.

His fight for the persons with disabilities was remarkable for entire society when he filed a PIL in the Orissa High Court in 2011 seeking candidature of physically challenged OPSC examination aspirants.

Accepting the PIL, the High Court ordered the OPSC in 2014 to include visually impaired candidates.

However, there was no provision made for visually impaired candidates in the notification issued by OPSC for Odisha Administrative Service examination in 2015.

He appealed before the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in July in the same year following which OPSC had to amend his rule in August allowing the visually impaired candidates to appear the civil examinations.

Born with 100% blindness in Kishoreprasad village under Gania block in Nayagarh district, Sanyasi is blessed with two daughters and one son.