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Life Story of Manjunath Navalagunda

The Disability Entrepreneurship and Leadership Foundation (DEAL Foundation) operates in every taluk to promote sustainable livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities and to eliminate discrimination against them. This is achieved through enhanced education, awareness, and the creation of inclusive environments. The Deal Foundation creates opportunities for people with disabilities to work together, regardless of their disability, by removing all barriers hindering the progress of disabled individuals. Through these opportunities, disabled persons in every taluk receive training from the Deal Foundation, engage in self-employment, and become role models for others in similar circumstances. Manjunath Navalagunda is one such disabled person.

If you want to know about him, Manjunath is originally from Dambala village of Mundaragi taluk. His father’s name is Hanumanthappa, and his mother’s name is Shivaputravva. They have two sons, and Manjunath is the second son. His parents used to work hard to support the family. Manjunath has been physically disabled since birth, with his left leg affected. He managed to complete his education up to PUC. Initially, he aspired to pursue further education. However, the condition of his leg deteriorated over time, leading to the development of a small tumor at the back of his leg. Consequently, he underwent surgery, which prevented him from continuing his education further.

The family was being supported by his parents. As time passed, his parents became unable to work. Realizing that running the family under these circumstances would be challenging, Manjunath decided to open a mobile shop. His family suggested that he receive training for this endeavor in Dharwad and Hulakote. Following their advice, Manjunath underwent a one-month training program in mobile repair in Dharwad. Subsequently, he completed another one-month training session at KVK in Hulakoti. With the assistance of his family, he rented a shop near his house and named it “Kiran Mobile Shop,” thus launching his business. He started repairing mobile phones and providing currency exchange services.

As Manjunath’s business flourished day by day, his elder brother got married but decided to move to another house, leaving their parents behind to manage their own lives. Despite feeling saddened by the family’s disunity, Manjunath felt a strong sense of responsibility to work hard and take care of his parents. His dream was to expand his mobile shop, selling new mobiles and operating on a larger scale, but he faced a lack of capital. Desiring to do something for the disabled community, Manjunath encountered Renuka Kallalli, a dedicated officer from the Deal Foundation in Mundaragi taluk, who visited Dambala. Renuka introduced the villagers to the services offered by the Deal Foundation during her visit to the VRW (Village Rehabilitation Worker). Upon learning about the foundation, the VRW suggested that it assist all differently-abled individuals by forming a self-help society and providing them with training. Following this advice, Renuka explained the objectives of the DEAL Foundation, various training programs, and government schemes available to people with disabilities. Inspired by this, ten disabled individuals from the village formed an association named “Shri Puttaraja Vikalachetana Swasahay Sangh” and opened a group account in the bank to manage their affairs collectively. Then Renuka Kallalli provided various training sessions to this association, including job training, book writing training, disability awareness training, and leadership training. Each month, all the members contribute Rs.200 to their savings. These members serve as inspiration to every disabled person, encouraging them to take advantage of the bank loan opportunities provided by the association and pursue more employment opportunities, thereby fostering growth for all disabled individuals. Moreover, the disabled individuals in the village aspire to receive a government grant with the assistance of the Deal Foundation, allowing them to construct a hall or training camp for disabled individuals in their village. As a result, this self-help organization is operating in an inspiring manner, striving to empower and uplift the disabled community.

Manjunath expressed his thoughts about the Deal Foundation organization, reflecting on the past when people with disabilities were often overlooked by society. He expressed pride in the fact that the Deal Foundation is dedicated to supporting the disabled community. Manjunath shared his desire to secure more employment opportunities to better care for his parents, with guidance from Renuka of the Deal Foundation. He highlighted the significance of being able to access loans through a self-help society, emphasizing the importance of saving money regularly to navigate through challenging times. Furthermore, he appreciated the efforts made by the Deal Foundation in making government facilities accessible to disabled individuals. Manjunath also advocated for the construction of a room or community building in the village specifically for disabled individuals to facilitate employment opportunities. He acknowledged Renuka Kallalli’s support from the Deal Foundation in realizing this dream, expressing gratitude on behalf of himself and the disabled community in the village. In conclusion, Manjunath expressed his hope that the Deal Foundation organization will continue to grow and expand its impact to even greater heights.

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