Persons with disabilities are more likely to be excluded from services that help increase chances to build up a decent livelihood. More often than not, a person with a disability is considered to be a burden to the family as the society is of the impression that due to his disability, one cannot go out and earn so as to sustain himself and the family, instead depend on other members for his sustenance.
It is not his disability that stops him from doing what is necessary but the social stigma they face due to their disability which also may lead to illiteracy.
Employment has also become a major challenge for them as they are either not given the opportunities, or the place of work proves to be inaccessible and hence make lives difficult for person with disabilities.
Life is more expensive for persons with a disability, as many countries do not have universal health care or insurances do not cover the cost of rehabilitation and assistive devices.
And, women with disabilities struggle even more to build up a decent livelihood. This is because; communities tend to invest less in their future, making them even more vulnerable and making them victims of abuse.
It has been recorded that In India, out of the 121 Cr population, 2.68 Cr persons are disabled. Out of which 2.21% of the total population are of persons in rural areas and 0.81 Cr in urban areas. As the above figure illustrates, majority of the population with disabilities reside in the rural community, where there is a lack of awareness regarding the facilities provided by the government towards assisting persons with disabilities or even with regards to how to help the disabled population specially women sustain themselves.
In order to increase the chances of persons with disabilities to make a decent living, one could focus on the following vitals:
- Increasing awareness on the fact that persons with disabilities are capable of taking their lives in their own hands
- Increasing the self-esteem of persons with disabilities and build up their vocational as well as soft skills to have something to owe on the labour market, especially for women with disabilities.
- Providing access to health care, rehabilitation services and assistive devices for persons with disabilities
- Cooperating with schools, universities, vocational training centres, NGOs, companies, and microcredit organizations to make their services inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Provide training and support to people who can be responsible to creating an impact in the lives of the disabled.
- Encourage people with disabilities to come out and prove their abilities and break the barrier of dependence on other members.
Disability Entrepreneurship And Leadership (DEAL) Foundation works across the districts of Gadag and Bengaluru to promote sustainable livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities.
As a part of our work, we provide training and support to persons with disabilities on farm based and non-farm based activities to promote sustainable living and socio-economic growth.
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To understand more about the work of the foundation, please log on to www.deal-foundation.com.