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Row over appointment of Odisha Disability Commissioner

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 10:

Several organisations and social activists in Odisha have questioned the recent appointment of Dr Minati Behera as the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities by the state government.

disabilityThey have alleged that Behera does not meet the eligibility criteria for the post.

“There are various types and levels of disabilities. There are also other factors like rehabilitation and education of the disabled. If a person is not aware of such issues and has no experience in handling such issues, how he/she is going to address the problem? If the state government has taken a decision in this regard – I hope, it might have picked the right person – it should have informed us on the qualification and experience on the basis of which the appointment has been made,” well-known social activist Shruti Mohapatra told the media.

“We have decided to write a letter to the Chief Minister to find out the basis of the selection of Behera, how she was appointed, what is her 15-year experience in the field of disability and in what field of disability she has the expertise,” Mohapatra said.

In her reaction, Behera said her appointment was cleared by the Chief Minister and sought the cooperation of others in discharging her duties.

“I was keen on working for the disabled and I am working for them. The state government had brought an advertisement for this post in the newspapers for which I had applied. As per the criteria sought by the government for the post, the Search Committee had recommended three names to the chief minister who selected me for the post,” she said.

Referring to Shruti Mohapatra without naming her, Behera said; “They are disabled and I am also working for the disabled. I wish they should cooperate with us and work in tandem for successful implementation of several welfare programmes of the state government for the disabled.”

The state government had appointed Behera as the new State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities on April 6 following the retirement of Kasturi Mohapatra.