The road safety week is observed and aimed at reducing the incidence of disability. The organization along with the school children organize awareness on prevention programe on road accidents, non- use of helmets and seat belts as well as non-adherence to rules and regulations which results death.
Prevention of disability has always been an important component among the disability issues. SMRC worked on different fronts and platforms to achieve this goal. This included prevention of childhood disability, of accidents and promoting industrial safety.
Usage of helmets and seatbelts was promoted at national level ministries and sensitizing people at local level. India was still not prepared so we moved to the national level to take up the matter with the automobile industry and the Transport ministry. In Bhubaneswar school children assisted in creating public awareness. The schools helped out with children promoting the idea at all petrol pump stations. The children underwent training in first aid and awareness on importance of road safety rules and in first aid with help of St. John’s Ambulance.
In 1989, Critical Care became an important prevention programme. This programme was conducted with the National Association for Critical Care Medicine, Delhi. Dr N.P. Singh a pioneer in the work backed us in our work, providing technical expertise for training of medical practitioners and para medic workers.
The second major programme was in critical care with focus on prevention of SCI. It extended to safety programmes of electricity workers and industry on ‘Voluntary Compliance’ in use of Safety Equipments and Aids in industries. In the second part of the safety programme, prevention of SCI became a major programme guided by Sir George Bedbrook and Perth Hospital Australia linked up on accident site management.
Under childhood disability IEC material was made and ICDS workers were involved in creating awareness on prevention of childhood disability.
SMRC spearheaded the physical accessibility movement in Orissa and at the national level. I was invited by Late Shree Y.D.Sharma, Governor of Orissa to meet him. I sat before the flight of stairs when the ADC expressed I could be carried up. I told him that it will not be a very dignified entry in to the Raj Bhawan. The Governor enquired what I had said. Soon after he ordered a ramp to be constructed - An extremely sensitive gesture.
Again when I went to meet Mr. Baijayant Panda, Jt. Managing Director of the IMFA group of Industries and later Member of Parliament at his office, there were a few steps. Immediately, he came down and ordered a ramp to be constructed - One more sensitive gesture.
In other cases we had to protest for instance outside the Assembly, certain hotels and the BDA. As sensitivity grew the Big Bazaar (A mall) not only made it fully accessible but invited us to test the accessibility.
In our work, ICTA (safety etc) initially played an important role as did our interaction with David Werner (wheelchairs) - the two who spearheaded the accessibility movement worldwide.