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As a result of the community organization and development work undertaken by the Deal Foundation to create sustainable livelihoods for families of persons with disabilities, self-help groups of persons with disabilities are being formed.

Accordingly, the Deal Foundation has initiated an awareness program for the differently-abled in each taluk. During the implementation of this program in Gadag taluk, children with disabilities travelled from Nagavi to attend. Upon learning about the work of the Deal Foundation, these children met Shivukumar Shirol, the Training Coordinator of the foundation, during the program. They requested him to visit their school to provide information about the special school for children with special needs that they attend.

Everyone is familiar with the popular saying, ‘Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens.’ Accordingly, the children of Bhuvaneshwari special needs school in Hudko Colony of Gadag taluk were identified to receive maximum support for differently-abled children. The Deal Foundation has already established self-help groups for differently-abled individuals in every taluk, providing them with self-employment training and disability awareness training. Additionally, differently-abled individuals are involved in self-employment in all taluks.

Similarly, Veena Shakhanavar, the Gadag Taluk Livelihood Officer, visited Mr Manjunath Haddannavara, the head of that school, and informed him about the work activities of the Deal Foundation. This includes the formation of Handicapped Self-Help Sangha’s and training sessions in paper bag making, saffron processing, candle making, goat rearing, roti making, etc. The Deal Foundation is actively engaging them in self-employment opportunities. In the same vein, she provided all the information necessary for training the children in this school, helping them prepare for their future lives and ensuring that such children also have opportunities.

The head of the school heard about these interesting skills in our children, realizing that no one had previously allowed them to showcase their talents. Simultaneously, self-help groups for disabled individuals above 18 years of age were established. They were named ‘Samriddhi Vikalchetana Mahila Self-Help Sangh’ and ‘Samarth Vikalchetana Self-Help Sangh.

After the formation of the Self-Help Society, the first step was to provide them with account books, loan account books, and savings account books. The DEAL Foundation conducts training sessions for the Self-Help Associations of People with Disabilities, especially the Physically Handicapped Associations formed in every taluk. The reason for giving special training to the children in this school is that they possess a special spirit, and the Deal Foundation has the opportunity to train and make them employable. During the book writing training conducted by Mr. Uma Cheilgoder, the Program Manager of Deal Foundation, and Veena, the Livelihood Officer of Gadag Taluk, for these two associations, the head of the school, Manjunath, organized a small program. He expressed that the first training for their children from the organization should begin by lighting a lamp. Mrs. Uma spoke to the children, sharing their joy in their innocence. They provided information about the associations in a simple way that the children could understand and explained the process of writing books for self-help groups, and filling savings accounts, and also gave entrepreneurship training.

The presentation included pictures and explanations highlighting the benefits of saving money. As a result, the children actively shared their opinions, leading to increased awareness about finance, writing, and employment. Some children in this group, guided by school teachers, are currently working on a book about the savings account of this association. Through the Deal Foundation organization, disabled children have been allowed to be recognized by society. The talents among the differently-abled are flourishing under the guidance of the Kamala Deal Foundation. For further details on the employment progress of the children from these two associations after training, please refer to the upcoming newsletter.

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