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Life Story of Arvind Abbigeri

The mission of the Deal Foundation is to forge sustainable livelihood opportunities for individuals with disabilities, championing their cause and support. Through dedicated efforts, the Livelihood Officers, acting on behalf of the foundation, are actively present in every taluk. They’ve spearheaded the establishment of self-help societies tailored for the differently-abled, providing them with invaluable training in various fields such as dairy farming, tailoring, candle making, sheep-goat rearing, and honey production. These initiatives empower individuals with disabilities to engage meaningfully in livelihood activities. Thanks to these efforts, self-help associations for the disabled have flourished in every taluk, equipped with training, financial support through bank loans, and avenues for pursuing their passions. Many individuals with disabilities, previously constrained by financial limitations, have seized the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations by availing loans and extending assistance to fellow disabled persons. Among these inspiring individuals is Arvind Abbigere, whose journey exemplifies the transformative impact of such initiatives.

Arvind Abbigere hails from Sambhapura village in Gadag taluk, born to Siddappa and Yallamma. Growing up with his loving parents and two children of his own, Arvind’s childhood was filled with the simple joys of rural life. Descended from a lineage of farmers, the family found solace and sustenance in the bounties of their ancestral land. Arvind commenced his educational journey in a government school nearby, immersing himself in learning up to the 7th standard. However, the harsh reality of poverty loomed over his aspirations, compelling him to prematurely discontinue his studies. Despite harboring dreams of further education, the pressing financial constraints at home necessitated his departure from formal schooling. Determined to alleviate the burden on his family, Arvind sought employment at a local hotel, steadfast in his resolve to shield his loved ones from further hardship.

Arvind was not physically handicapped from birth. One day, while he was lighting a lamp with kerosene at home, as a child, the flame from the lamp fell on his face, burning his entire face and hands while he was sleeping at night. His mother then took him to the hospital and provided him with all the necessary treatment.

Although everyone in the house was worried, Arvind told himself, “This has happened to me, and I have to experience this.” Thus, he became disabled. As the day passed, the owner of the shop kept working without giving him lunch. Due to this, Arvind left the job in disgust with both him and the owner.

When he didn’t know what to do next, his mother gave him 6000 rupees that she had saved, promising him that he could start his own business. With this capital, he set up his own small grocery store at home and began his business. As time passed, he started delivering grocery supplies to other stores in wholesale quantities. Gradually, his business improved. Later, he got married, and his wife was also physically challenged. Thus, he had a happy family with a little girl. However, after a few days, he lost his parents and became alone.

Arvind, who had lost his mother, found it somewhat difficult to forget her. However, in a manner reminiscent of his mother, a second daughter was born to Arvind, thus expanding his family. As time passed, the workload decreased, and his wife struggled to sustain their livelihood with their small business. Arvind suggested that they should diversify their income streams by starting a xerox machine and milk business alongside the shop, and he assured her of his assistance. While Aravinda was contemplating how to set this up, Livelihood, an Officer of the Deal Foundation in Gadag Taluk, along with a disabled person named Muttanna, visited Sambapura village and gathered all the disabled individuals in a temple. Wood informed them about the work activities of the Deal Foundation and cited examples of successful activities undertaken by disabled self-help groups in Gadag Taluk. He assured the disabled individuals that the foundation would always support and cooperate with them.

Later, ten people with disabilities joined together and established an association named “Sri Dharmasthala Vikalachetana Swasahay Sangha.” In 2016, Nirmala from the Deal Foundation provided disability awareness training, book writing training, and financial training to this association. Additionally, Arvind himself is actively involved in this self-help association, serving as its representative. Through this association, he aims to secure a bank loan for self-employment, particularly to acquire a xerox machine and initiate additional business ventures. All differently-abled individuals continue to participate in this association with the support of the Deal Foundation. Consequently, Arvind is in the process of preparing all the necessary documents to obtain a bank loan for his further employment, with the assistance of Nirmala.

Due to this, this Self Help Society has become a role model for many disabled people like Arvind. Arvind shared his opinion about the Deal Foundation organization. Until now, apart from pension, the disabled people of our town had not received any kind of facilities or training, and they were also unaware of the government facilities available to them. In such a situation, it can be said that Nirmala, representing the Deal Foundation, came to our town. She provided information about job training and government facilities to those who were unaware and also helped form a self-help group for disabled people. Through this group, job training was provided, and employment opportunities at a higher level were made accessible to disabled individuals like me. My desire for support is being fulfilled by the Deal Foundation. Arvind expressed his hope that the Deal Foundation, which works for disabled people, will continue to provide encouragement and support to individuals like us, thus gaining more recognition in the Gadag district.

In this manner, the Deal Foundation is serving disabled individuals in Gadag Taluk, aiding in the improvement of their economic circumstances and facilitating their recognition within society. All disabled individuals are progressively collaborating with the Deal Foundation organization.

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