1st Technical Advisory Group Meeting on “LSE for Adolescents with Disability in Special Schools of Odisha’ Held at KISS

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First Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting on “Life Skills Education (LSE) for adolescents with disability in Special Schools of Odisha” was organized by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Odisha team and Mission UDAY team in collaboration with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) on 26th August 2020.

The TAG meeting was organized on the virtual platform with an aim to introduce the Life Skill Education Program (LSE) in Special schools.  The program is unique in its way as UNFPA is introducing LSE for adolescents with disability (AWDs) in the state, whereas Life Skill Education for other adolescents is one of the key core areas for UNFPA and many other agencies.

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has been partnering with UNFPA since 2009 for transacting LSE for adolescents in all schools. The partnership has created a benchmark in LSE Field. Based on the efficiency, good work and milestones achieved under the LSE program, UNFPA is now collaborating with (KISS) for implementing LSE in special schools across the state.

KISS has a significant number of special children in its campus. Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS has always given special attention to these special children in every aspect along with the other 30,000 students. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, calls on states to promote inclusive development that recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to equal access to education and employment, among other things. It sets targets to eliminate violence against all girls and women, including those with disabilities, and to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services and education for all. KISS’ focus on special children since its inception shows Dr. Samanta’s vision for education for all much before the 2030 agenda has come to an action.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is createdcomprising of experts from national and state level in the field of disability and life skills education to provide inputs for development of resource and communication material on Life Skills Education of adolescents with disabilities and their caregivers, advice on different types of tools that will be required to transact sessions and provide guidance to the overall project.

Technical Advisory Group isprivileged to have most valued delegates having years of expertise in the field. Mr. Venkatesh Srinivasan, Assistant Representative, UNFPA chaired the meeting and set the context.

Prof. Asha Hans, Head, Santa Memorial Rehabilitation Centre; Ms. Sulochana Das, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Odisha State; Ms. Sruti Mahapatra, Founder Swabhiman;  Ms. Ravi Sujji, Project Manager, CBM, Bangalore; Ms. Anita Narayan Iyer, Founder and Managing Trustee, EKansh Trust, Pune; Ms. Soraya Rebello, Vice President, CSR and Corporate Communication, Jakson Group, Gurgaon; Ms. Mukta Narain Thind, National Director, Special Olympics Bharat and her team from Delhi and Odisha; Ms. Sujata Pattanayak, Secretary, Ashraya the Shelter (School for Autistic and Mentally Retarded children); and Mr. Rajkishore Sabut, President,  College for Disability, Nimapara also graced the occasion.

Dr. Deepa Prasad briefed about the program, objectives, coverage and stakeholders involved in the program. Dr. Prashant Routray, CEO, KISS highlighted the Themes, Topics and Tools to be used in transacting the session in Special schools. All the invited TAG members have contributed their inputs, suggestions based on their expertise. Mr. Venkatesh Srinivasan, Assistant Representative, UNFPA extended the vote of thanks to all the delegates and concluded the meeting.

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