'Disability' Rendered Her Unsuitable For IAS: Meet Sruti Mohapatra, Crusader For People With Disabilities

With no Equal Opportunities Act, 30 years before, her dream of becoming an IAS officer was left unfulfilled.

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'Disability' Rendered Her Unsuitable For IAS: Meet Sruti Mohapatra, Crusader For People With Disabilities

'Disability' Rendered Her Unsuitable For IAS: Meet Sruti Mohapatra, Crusader For People With Disabilities

New Delhi:  With no Equal Opportunities Act, 30 years before, her dream of becoming an IAS officer was left unfulfilled. Soon, she mustered up her courage to give all those opportunities to differently abled students who aspire to clear civil services exam. Sruti Mohapatra from Odisha is a name that tops in the list of 'winners through adversities'.  A revered figure in her State, Sruti Mohapatra, in her 20s cleared the UPSC civil services exam and got into the Group A allied services. She again appeared for the exam in 1987, aiming IAS and few days prior to her interview she met with a disastrous car accident severely injuring her spinal cord. 

After several requests to the Commission, she was offered a reduced post and upon questioning the offer, the job was closed on her. In October 2009, she along with other human right activists had appealed to the sevayats in Puri and the Orissa government to allow physically-challenged devotees to access the Jagannath temple on wheel chairs.

The 54 year old, social activist now, had never looked back since then. She has become a messiah for people with disabilities in the State. She visions a better and successful life for these students- on her wheelchair. 

She is the Founder of Swabhiman, a State Disability Information and Resource Centre, working for the empowerment of people with disabilities in Odisha. 

In 2010 she was awarded CNN-IBN Real Heroes Award, on the ground of humanitarian work. In 2013 she was awarded the Vidya Bhawan Social Service Award by the former President of India, Sri Pranab Mukherjee. Sruti Mohapatra is also the Chief Coordinator of Anjali International Children's Festival and has other projects like Saksham, Addhyayan and YLTEP. She has also been awarded with Rockstar Award Nina Foundation 2015, Kadambini Samman 2014, Beasant Selfless Service Award 2012, Subhadra Samman 2012, Sarala Samman 2011, Women of the Year Award State Bank of India 2011, Khyamata Samman 2010.

She has a keen interest to join politics, as she feels it the right platform to advocate the rights of people with disabilities and bring in new changes.

'Disability' didn't allow her to pursue her dream, but that couldn't stop her from being a winner. Sruti Mohapatra is an inspiration to many. 

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