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Man’s tweet gets him, disabled daughter audience with HRD minister Smriti Irani

Panda wants to point out how lack of infrastructure for the differently abled is affecting their academic future.

Written by Hemani Bhandari | New Delhi |
Updated: December 1, 2015 8:23:02 pm
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The NDA government is digital-savvy and that comes with its own benefits. From being rescued from Syria to an SOS tweet to the Railway Minister for immediate action, the ministers have been fairly active in responding to personal — justified — requests from citizens.

The latest is the case of Anup Panda, whose tweet to Human Resource and Development Minister Smriti Z Irani led to a series of actions, resulting in an appointment with the minister. On November 29, Panda reached out to the HRD minister on Twitter asking her if his differently abled daughter could imagine a future in medical sciences or engineering. She immediately responded to his tweet asking him to send his contact details.



As a follow-up, Irani personally called up Panda and invited him and his daughter to meet with her. “I was surprised that she called herself and did not get one of her officials to call. We discussed my daughter’s medical condition and she asked me to meet her on December 2 at 5.30pm,” Panda told in a telephonic conversation. Though the venue hasn’t been decided yet, Irani suggested the meeting be scheduled for evening after his daughter attends school.

His daughter, Anushka Panda, is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that affects nervous system controlling muscle movement, making her unable to walk and forced to use a wheelchair instead. A Class VIII student, Anushka is currently studying in Gurgaon’s Suncity School. She is among the toppers in her class, said Panda, and he wants to ensure a bright future in medicine or engineering for his child, despite the current status of infrastructure of the colleges in the country.

Panda wants to point out how lack of infrastructure for the differently abled is affecting their academic future. “Ms Irani told me she would flag the issue in front of Health Minister JP Nadda,” he said.

The tweets from Panda’s and Irani’s accounts were re-tweeted hundreds of times and many appreciated the minister’s response.

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