KISS Deemed to be University organized a Disability Sensitization Workshop on 4th August, 2022, in collaboration with Otani University, Kyoto, Japan. It was the second event as part of the MoU recently signed between the two institutions. The program was jointly organized by the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC), KISS-DU in collaboration with Otani University, Japan.
Delivering the keynote address, Professor Shobha Rani Dash, Professor, Department of Buddhist Studies, Otani University explained the Buddhist approach to the question of disability and the various disabled friendly measures in practice at the Otani University, Japan. She emphasized the need for the able bodied to understand and feel the pain of persons with disability, a cardinal principle of Buddhist thought.
Ms. Aditi Panda, Project Manager, Samarthya Project, a special project implemented by KISS with the support of United National Populations Fund (UNFPA) for persons with Disability at KISS-DU, offered an update on the widening scope of the concept of disability, referring to the 21 types of disabilities currently recognised by the RPWD Act. The idea of accessibility should not be limited to building infrastructure, but also include the domains of communication systems and teaching modules, she stated. She also presented the major aspects of Project Samarthya, which now has about 8500 students with disabilities enrolled in 155 special schools of Odisha.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU described the salient aspects of the recent MoU, outlining the distinct strengths of both the institutions, and expressing his happiness on the decision of the authorities at Otani University to allocate a designated space in their website for joint initiatives being carried out and to be carried out by both the Universities in future.
Ms. Lubna Kausar and Mr. Lochan Shabar, who are the persons with disability now working in KISS as teachers, shared their experience with regard to disability. They were very thankful to the institution for all the special access measures. Dr. Anirban Bandyopadhyay coordinated the session. Among others, Ms. Sanghamitra Ray, Deputy Director, Projects, KISS and Dr. Chittaranjan Bhoi, Director, HRDC, KISS-DU also spoke on the occasion. The participants went away with a rich cross-cultural understanding of the question of disability in terms of philosophies, legalities and institutional practices.