Bhubaneswar, Mar 16: A society aspiring to be inclusive should ensure that everyone should move forward together and no one is left behind, eminent social worker Dr. Sruti Mohapatra said.
“An inclusive society is one that cares for those who are left behind. Everyone should move forward together,” she said while delivering the third virtual SOA Fortnightly Academic Lecture (SOAFAL) on Saturday.
An inclusive society overrides differences of race, gender, class, generation and geography and ensures inclusion, equality of opportunity as well as capability of all members of the society for creating a world which would provide equal opportunities to all and pave the way for a sustainable future, she said while speaking on the subject ‘How do you think differently to create an inclusive society.’
SOAFAL is organised in SOA every fortnight jointly by the NSS bureau and SOA Wellness Centre.
She narrated her continuing battles against stereotyped responses to the disabled and how she coped with the mental adversities more than physical ones. Disabled in a road mishap several years ago, she has been donning the role of a crusader for disability rights. She is the founder and CEO of Swabhiman, an NGO and Anjali (an inclusive festival) intended to empower the disabled.
Dr. Mohapatra, who has been in the forefront of major policy changes and new laws in India to create an equal society for people with disabilities, laid down four mantras for students —to always focus on solutions and never on the problem, to dream big, believe in one’s own self if he or she wanted to be a change maker and never to allow anyone to define success for oneself.
Quoting a World Bank report which said ten per cent of any population was disabled, she said major changes in quality of life for the disabled came after World War I and II. Happiness, she said, was to be ‘comfortable with your limitations.’
Prof. Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, Vice-Chancellor of SOA was present as also Dr. Nachiketa Sharma, NSS Coordinator for SOA. Earlier, Prof. Mahapatra felicitated Dr. Kamal L. Mohanta and Pratik Das as best NSS Program Officer and best NSS Volunteer for 2019-20.