Award of Padma Shri to Dr. Ms. Sruti Mahapatra - Orissa

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DR. Sruti Mohapatra  founder and Chief Executive of SWABHIMAN
Orissa , India

A road accident fractured her spinal cord when young Sruti had just qualified for Indian Civil Services. She lost everything in one fraction of a second.

A fighter, she jumped back to life and today is a disability activist by passion and mission. Gold medalist and topper in both graduation and post graduation, three times national debating champion, state basketball team member, she is the first in South Asia to complete a Ph.d on wheel chair. Her first book is ECHOES, a collection of poetry published by Writer’s Workshop, Kolkata. Has authored two books ‘Disability Etiquette’, ‘Laws for the Disabled’, edited a book on ‘Concessions and Facilities For the Disabled’ and is the correspondent of Ability and Success. She has published about 100 articles on disability issues and topics of general interest. Sruti has won 67 awards for her exemplary life and work. She presently is a member of many important committees in government and civil society.

Sitting in her wheelchair, fighting for the rights and dignity of the disabled, 53-yearold Dr Sruti Mohapatra has emerged as the perfect role model for the physically and mentally challenged in India. Sruti has initiated a process that clearly focuses on the rights and capabilities, a major shift from the hitherto fatalistic and charitable attitude that the government officials, civil society, and people in general harbour towards the divyang.

She is the founder and Chief Executive of SWABHIMAN – disability information and resource centre and also the Chief Coordinator of ANJALI a project for inclusive and joyful learning. By her pioneering efforts disability has become not only visible but an important social issue for Odisha and Indian government and civil society.
Under her leadership many groundbreaking changes have happened in Odisha for the persons with disabilities. She has conceptualized several innovative programs for youth and children.

In my view she richly deserves a Padma Shri award.
I request the office of the PM to make necessary enquiries and recommend her name for the award.