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Activists from the Vikalchetana Entrepreneurship and Leadership Foundation initiated efforts to collaborate with Vikalchetana and women across Gadag district. Through this initiative, information was gathered from 3000 Vikalchetana individuals and 1000 women, marking the beginning of the work with the DEAL Foundation. The insights gained from this endeavor underscore the persistent challenges associated with cognitive deficits and disabilities.

Moreover, a significant number of disabled individuals find themselves confined to their homes, resulting in a lack of access to quality education, employment opportunities, and basic chances to demonstrate their capabilities to society. This longstanding issue has persisted over time.

In alignment with the objectives of the Deal Foundation, activists are diligently working in every taluk to empower disabled individuals and women, enabling them to lead self-reliant lives and actively participate in various activities like their counterparts. Livelihood Officers stationed in each taluk play a crucial role by identifying disabled individuals and acquainting them with the DEAL Foundation organization. Subsequently, they bring together interested disabled individuals to form Self Help Societies, establishing accounts and providing various home industries training sessions. These training programs include the 2016 awareness training, dairy training, saffron training, candle making training, sheep and goat rearing training, among others, designed to empower the members of these associations. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the engagement of disabled individuals and women in self-employment opportunities.

Beyond the training programs offered by the Deal Foundation organization, the Livelihood Officers collaborate with various government departments to provide information about the facilities available for disabled individuals. They extend support by making disabled individuals aware of the assistance and training opportunities provided by these government departments, working in coordination with the Deal Foundation organization. This comprehensive approach aims to equip disabled individuals with knowledge about both the offerings from the Deal Foundation and additional resources provided by the government.

Significantly, the Department of Agriculture is contributing funds to disabled self-help societies and women’s self-help societies through the Samtunidhi concept. Annually, a specific number of associations are chosen from each taluk, and funds are allocated to those associations. Members of these associations, particularly those in need of employment, can avail loans from the association to support their livelihoods. The interest generated from these loans is then distributed among the other members of the association, providing additional benefits to the disabled community. This initiative serves as a valuable mechanism for fostering economic empowerment within these self-help societies.

In this manner, the facilities obtained from the Department of Agriculture are being distributed by the Lovely Wood Officers of the Government, in collaboration with the Deal Foundation, to organizations of differently-abled individuals and women in each taluk. Renuka Kallalli, the Livelihood Officer of Mundaragi taluk, with the support of Uma Cheil Gowda, the Program Manager of the Deal Foundation, has actively assisted the differently-abled and women’s self-help association in Mundaragi taluk. They have facilitated engagement in self-employment by securing funds from the agriculture department for these associations.

As part of the ongoing efforts, this year, the Department of Agriculture has allocated round funds in Shirahatti taluk. The Livelihood Officer of Shirahatti taluk, along with Uma Chil Gowdar, gathered information from the agriculture department and acquainted them with the Deal Foundation organization. They appealed for assistance in improving the economic lives of the disabled and women’s associations. Subsequently, the agriculture department organized agricultural training in Magadi village, where five members from the associations formed by the Deal Foundation in Shirahatti taluk participated. Following the training, a total of 50,000 rupees in round funds was granted to the Deal Foundation societies in Shirahatti taluk. Each of the five participating societies received ten thousand rupees. These five associations in Shirahatti taluk are named “Sri Ramalingeshwar Vikalchetana Men’s Self Help Society.” As a direct impact, Mohammad Rafeeq, a member of the association, obtained a loan for agriculture, while Halappa Uppar initiated a job, exemplifying the positive outcomes of these efforts.

Likewise, the “Sewalal Vikalchethanara Men’s Self Help Society” has been granted round funds. Notably, members of this association, such as Shankrappa Lamani for grocery business and Kavita Lamani for clothing business, serve as inspirations to many people with disabilities. Their successful engagement in entrepreneurial ventures showcases the positive impact of these round funds on the lives of individuals within the association.

Subsequently, the “Lakshmidevi Mahila Swasahay Sangh” in Hollapur benefitted from these initiatives. Members like Hema Hadimani, Pavitra Bandi, and Rudramma Kuduri have been actively involved in agriculture as farmers, utilizing loans obtained from the Sangh. This reflects the tangible impact of these efforts on enabling individuals to engage in productive agricultural activities.

Similarly, the members of the “Sri Mylaralingeshwar Vikalachetana Swasaha Sangha” in Tangoda have also benefited from the round funds, obtaining loans for various purposes. Notably, a member named Zafar Ali Chaudhary has utilized personal loans for both tailoring jobs and agriculture, showcasing the diverse ways in which these funds support individuals in their pursuits.

The “Udachamma Devi Vikalchethanara Mahila Swasahay Sangh” in Magadi has also benefitted from the initiatives of the organization. Notably, individuals like Usha, who ventured into the grocery business, and Nanda Nagavi, engaged in the clothing business, have taken personal loans from this organization. These women have demonstrated their capabilities, proving that they are equally capable and resilient.

In this approach, with the agreement of all the association members, it’s ensured that not everyone gets a loan at once. Those members who are in immediate need are given loans first, followed by others in turn. There’s also a deliberate decision to encourage the active involvement of women in higher-level jobs. This strategy has resulted in all the members of this association becoming role models for many disabled individuals and women. Through their actions, they are actively challenging societal perceptions and demonstrating that people with disabilities can achieve anything when provided with an opportunity.

It can be affirmed that the collaboration and inspiration provided by the Deal Foundation organization serve as the driving force behind this prosperity. Additionally, Livelihood officers Rekha Maddi and Uma Chil Gowdar secured funding from the Department of Agriculture, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of all the members of these associations. The aspiration to be recognized as role models in society resonates deeply within the Deal Foundation organization, propelling their commitment to empowering individuals and fostering positive change.

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