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The Disability Entrepreneurship and Leadership Foundation works with homes for the disabled across Bangalore and Gadag districts to create sustainable livelihoods and build resilient, inclusive communities.

Employment is one of the most crucial steps towards achieving sustainability. Activists of the Deal Foundation are working to raise awareness about providing opportunities to persons with disabilities. The foundation has formed self-help groups for the differently-abled and provided them with job training. The Deal Foundation is instrumental in helping individuals with disabilities lead sustainable lives. Consequently, the differently-abled are achieving self-reliance in seven taluks. Devappa Jogin is one of them, and he shared his thoughts about his life and the Deal Foundation organization.

Speaking about Devappa Jogin, he hails from Mundaragi. His family, comprising his father, grandfather, and mother, experienced contentment despite their impoverished circumstances, as both parents worked as laborers. Up until the age of three, Devappa’s childhood was filled with joy and familial warmth. However, tragedy struck when, at the age of three, a small blister appeared on his face, causing his mother to lose consciousness. Despite their efforts to seek medical assistance, his mother’s condition worsened, leading to the loss of Devappa’s eyesight. Being the only son, this unforeseen event hit the family like a thunderbolt. Despite facing financial difficulties, Devappa’s parents sought medical help, but no doctor offered hope. This traumatic incident left the family feeling helpless. At such a tender age, Devappa’s childhood joy was abruptly stolen. The concerned father and mother, now burdened with worry for their son, faced the challenges of daily life, with his mother taking on the responsibility of all household activities. The mother, despite the challenges, believed in her son’s potential for achievement. Even though Devappa could no longer play with other children, she was determined that he should strive for something more. Despite the financial struggles, they enrolled Devappa in a nearby government school, conveniently located for him to attend.

Devappa’s mother, being elderly, was unable to accompany him to school daily. Thankfully, Shashikala, a school teacher, took on the responsibility of escorting him to school every day. Through the divine intervention of a teacher, he was able to attend school regularly. Consequently, he completed his education up to the 6th standard. However, the government school only offered education up to the 6th standard, and for the 7th standard, he had to travel to a more distant location. Due to the distance and the inability of his parents to take him to the day school, his education concluded after completing the 6th standard.

As days passed, Devappa remained at home and grew up. His parents, who used to work as laborers, continued to support the family despite their old age. While he sat at home, his parents worked tirelessly, managing the household even with the burden of my lost eyes. Faced with this reality, he felt the need to act. Motivated to make a change, Devappa decided to venture out into the streets and started selling ice cream. Despite the challenges of being visually impaired, he persevered. However, realizing the difficulties in selling ice cream, he contemplated other options and considered selling milk and curd at home. When his childhood friends inquired about his new endeavor, Devappa shared his plan: ‘We will provide you with milk.’ Encouraged by their friends, they collaborated and supported him, pledging to bring yogurt and assist in selling it at home.

Moreover, Devappa initiated the sale of small grocery items such as leaves and nuts, providing some financial relief to his family. Over time, his business thrived. Recognizing the potential for expansion, Devappa envisioned further growth by introducing a small variety of goods. His efforts not only contributed to the financial well-being of his bedridden father and mother but also sustained the family. Facing a challenge when his friends moved away, Devappa didn’t lose hope. He mustered the courage to reach out to the owner of the milk, curd, and stationery supply, explaining his situation. The owner reassured him, saying, ‘Just call and let us know what you need, and we will deliver the goods to your shop.’ This support revitalized his life. Operating the grocery store, Devappa adopted a unique approach. One person handled the money received from sales, while another person verified the amount. After ensuring accuracy, they conducted business by depositing the money into the cash register. Despite a daily labor cost of around 800 to 1000, accounting for all expenses, they managed to generate a net income of 800 to 1000 per day.

Subsequently, Renuka Kallalli, the Livelihood officer of Mundaragi taluk associated with the Deal Foundation, identified Devappa and provided information about the foundation. Initially, Devappa didn’t pay much attention, but the persistent efforts of the Livelihood officer to inform him about the opportunities for people with disabilities caught his attention. Driven by the noble intention of becoming a role model for others facing similar challenges, Devappa eventually realized the significance of the information and decided to raise awareness about disabilities. Consequently, he agreed to form a self-help group for individuals with disabilities. Ten people with disabilities came together, and they established the “Durgadevi Vikalchethanara Swasahay Sangha.” Devappa is currently making comprehensive preparations to secure a loan from their self-help society, aiming to establish a large-scale grocery store and engage in business. The realization of his dream is drawing near, and he attributes much of this progress to the support provided by the Deal Foundation organization. Additionally, he holds a stake in the Mevundi Cooperative Society, demonstrating his understanding of the prevailing conditions and his commitment to collective efforts.

This is the trajectory of his life—advancing with determination. Devappa shared his thoughts about the Deal Foundation, an organization instrumental in making his dreams a reality. Initially, when Renuka Kallali approached me to provide information about the disabled, the available facilities, and the benefits offered by the Deal Foundation, I declined. However, witnessing her persistent efforts and patience, I recognized the importance of understanding more about it. Delving deeper, I realized that I stood to gain valuable opportunities and inspiration for my life. Had I not embraced this chance, I would have missed out on significant training from the Deal Foundation that is beneficial for my future and my family. The foundation has instilled in me a desire to work at a higher level, assist all individuals with disabilities to the best of my ability, and become an inspiration. For this, I am eternally grateful. Special thanks go to Renuka Kallali, who consistently offers help and information whenever I reach out. In expressing his heartfelt gratitude, Devappa voiced his wish for the Deal Foundation to be a beacon of light in the lives of numerous individuals with disabilities, much like himself.

In this manner, Devappa has become a role model for all disabled individuals who have faced setbacks in their lives. For any specific queries or assistance related to this blog, please contact info@deal-foundation.com. Visit www.deal-foundation.com to learn more about the work we do.

Thank you.