Swachh Bharat Mission brings no cheer for disabled persons in Odisha

BHUBANESWAR: Despite the much-touted campaign over Swachh Bharat Mission by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, the disabled persons in Odisha are not getting the desired benefit under the scheme, said a study.

According to the study, 90 percent persons with disabilities (PwDs) do not have awareness related to SBM, whereas 10 percent are still struggling to get the incentive.

Ensuring drinking water and toilet for PwDs is a challenge, said the study.

On the occasion of International Day for Disabilities, Odisha Vikalanga Mancha (a state level forum for disabilities) along with Pragati Jubak Sangha (PJS), Bhadrak shared the finding of a study.

The study named “Ground level status assessment on inclusions of Person with Disability (PwD) in Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in rural Odisha”.

The status assessment has covered 1320 households of PwDs of 15 Gram Panchayats across 15 districts-Balasore, Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Ganjam, Gajapati, Cuttack, Khordha, Puri, Nayagarh, Bargarh, Bolangir, and Koraput.

The aspect of assessment was on awareness regarding SBM and its service delivery mechanism, installation of the toilet with the support of SBM, SBM Incentive, and family WASH Status.

“Around 90 percent of households neither know SBM nor have any idea related to incentive available under SBM. There are around 10 percent households, who have constructed toilets, but yet to get the incentive,” said Debabrata Dash, Secretary of PJS.

Even in the case of those 10 percent, who have constructed toilets, are having little knowledge on the inclusive aspect of the toilet by which a PwD can use. Mostly those are general designed toilets, which is not accessible to PwDs, he added.

‘There is a serious need for orientation from top to bottom on providing accessible toilets to PwDs, catering to the need of each and every individual PwD’ said Dash.