Hello Dandappa. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us.
Please fire away.
Well, I would like to begin by thanking DEAL Foundation for having brought me out of isolation and for this opportunity to share my story with your readers.
I live in Eklasapur village in Gadag district. At a very early age perhaps when I was aged three or four years, I contracted polio which affected my right leg. At a very early age I had other complications which affected my ability to move around.
Being based within a rural environment, without access to medical and rehabilitation services I learnt to move around using both my hands instead. I was not fortunate enough to attend school or go through formal education, but I’m determined that I should do whatever I can to see that my children have the opportunities in life that I missed.
I have two children, a boy and a girl aged 14 and 6 years both of whom attend the local school in our village. My wife is a daily wage earner and takes up seasonal work on local farms whenever it is available.
As you know, I have been struggling to run this petti-shop of mine. All-in-all, we have been living on the fringe of society. I cannot thank you enough for the work you do at DEAL Foundation.
Since coming in contact with DEAL Foundation, I feel accepted, included and hopeful for the future.
So Dandappa, how do you see your future?
With the training and support that I have received from DEAL Foundation, I feel closer to realizing my dream of converting my petti-shop into a small provision store.
The visioning and livelihood skills orientation workshops organized by DEAL Foundation have given me new insights into how I can take up other livelihood activities to complement what I do and generate additional revenue. Having taken everything into account, I am looking forward to getting into Apiculture and Vermicompost production.
This alongside an improved provision store will not only help generate the much needed revenue to run and maintain my family, but it will also help reduce the burden on my wife who can then work with me instead of having to rely on seasonal farm work.
I have found it very reassuring to be part of the local disability network that DEAL Foundation help set up. As a group of local people with disabilities, we are able to share ideas share information, learn and support each other.
What I find most refreshing, is that DEAL Foundation works with all of us at our pace supporting us accomplish the things we want to do and without the fear of being judged. Looking at how things are changing in my life, people in and around my community have started to notice me for the things I’m able to do and how I’m moving-on in life.
I feel very proud to be featured in the DEAL Foundation’s 2021 Diary that will be coming out soon.