There is always a way, if you are committed – is aptly applicable to this determined person who dreamt of becoming an Indian Civil Services officer. She was passionate about becoming an IAS officer but fate had something else written for her. There were only a few days left for her Civils Services interview, when unfortunately, she met with a devastating car accident, ending up with severe spinal injuries.

This strong-willed lady is not someone to be let down easily and eventually she pursued a different course of work—advocacy and social activism to initiate changes for the differently-abled community in Odisha. Her never give-up attitude drove her to work towards the betterment of differently-abled people.

She is Dr. Sruti Mohapatra, a PhD in Developmental Biology, and a leading campaigner for disability rights. Her Organisation works towards empowering differently-abled people in the state and her efforts have resulted in many positive changes in Odisha and India including policy changes, increasing public awareness on the issue of disability and working towards accessible cities. A remarkable achievement to her stride was making wheelchair accessible for users at Jagannath Temple in Puri.

She lived her dream of becoming an IAS officer by training over 300 civil service aspirants, now working in various positions in government, banks, and other services. Dr. Sruti proved herself as an astute professional with her impressive communication skills, enhanced interpersonal, team management, negotiation, presentation, and networking skills.

She received the Real Heroes Award in 2010. President Ram Nath Kovind presented her with the Nari Shakti Puraskar on International Women’s Day.

Dr. Sruti has been an example who can find opportunity and ability in every disability that come in one’s way, thereby changing many lives. VARINDIA is proud to honour this torchbearer of the disabled, in its special initiative the Crown Jewels of Odisha.

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