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The Deal Foundation has agreed to a Livelihood Activities Budget over two years to measure its sustainable livelihood activities involving persons with disabilities to empower and enable their lives. Accordingly, it continued by setting targets for the economic development of the disabled and women. This includes awareness training for PwD, community sensitization, baseline surveys, livelihood training, financial literacy training, starting self-employment centres, forming self-help groups of PwD, providing bank/finance and market linkages, forming farmer producer companies, and establishing cooperative societies at the taluk and district levels. In this way, livelihood officers in every taluk, i.e., Renuka Kallali for Mundaragi taluk, Nirmala for Gadag taluk, Rekha Maddi for Shirahatti taluk, Deepa for Lakshmeshwar taluk, Rona, and Sangita for Naragunda taluk, started working for the development of the differently-abled. In the development of people with disabilities, the first self-help group is formed, and the members have a bank account. They continue saving every month, and then the Deal Foundation organization provides training. After six months, they give loans through the bank for self-employment, support them financially, and help them engage in employment.

Thus, a total of 3043 persons with disabilities and 1275 women members have already received awareness and community sensitization on disabled persons from Deal Foundation workers, who are working as persons with disabilities in each taluk. Additionally, 1113 disabled people and 1549 women have undergone financial literacy training, leadership training, and entrepreneurship training. Furthermore, 802 disabled people and 981 women members have been trained and engaged in sustainable livelihood activities. Four ASKA centers have been established in Mevundi, Gadag, Naregal, and Shirahatti taluk. A total of 174 self-help groups have been formed with the membership of 1104 physically challenged individuals and 680 women members. Moreover, 1086 differently-abled and 366 women members are supported through financial inclusion activities. The agriculture-based Farmer Produce Company has been approved by the Karnataka Government and named “Parisara Sannidhi.” Additionally, the Mundaragi Vikal Sannidhi Cooperative Society has been formed at the safe taluk level. All these achievements align with the goals set by the Deal Foundation. Among other goals, there is a need to form more self-help groups of differently-abled persons and engage them in livelihood activities. ASK centers should be set up in the remaining two taluks, and a cooperative society of differently-abled persons should be established at the district level.

It can be said that all the workers are the main reason for achieving all these goals set by the Deal Foundation. Every day, the workers who are working for the disabled take day trips to provide them with new enthusiasm, foster their growth, expose them to a new environment, and offer a sense of entertainment. Uma Shirol, the program manager of the Deal Foundation, Shivakumar Shirol, the training coordinator, and Sagar Virapannavar all cooperated for a one-day trip and discussed the need for a village space to rejuvenate everyone’s mind with a green environment. Accordingly, on 8/11/2023, they visited Agadi garden. At 8:00 am, all the workers left, joyfully singing songs and sharing the hidden joy within them on the way. Time passed quickly, and they reached the farm at 10:30. Along with all the workers, Surendranath Shroff and Nick Edward, Head Officer of the Deal Foundation, also joined. Upon reaching there, they first performed aarti and welcomed everyone with sweets. Then, everyone adorned flower hats made from the branches of plants grown there and entertained themselves by singing songs. They drank a beverage made from jaggery and continued their journey. On the way, the green environment and plants were attractive, and everyone’s spirits were lifted. Moving forward, they tasted watermelon, approached the sugarcane mill, and extracted milk from the sugarcane by placing it in the mill. Everyone happily took turns spinning the gan, though it proved a bit challenging for the girls. Sagar, Varun, Shivakumar, and Surendranath sir also took part in spinning the gan and treated everyone to the taste of sugarcane milk.

Everyone started climbing the rope, enjoying the experience of walking through the raindrops. Although it was easy to see, the actual climbing provided an enjoyable challenge. Some people descended midway, while others completed the task. Following the climb, a sense of rain fever set in. During this time, all the workers collaborated effectively. Surendranath sir organized a task among the workers to ensure they were not fully aware of each other. The activity aimed to bring everyone closer by instructing them to discover five facts about each of their colleagues. Pairs were formed, with Deepa-Tahseen, Halappa-Nick Edward, and Rekha-Nirmala tasked with getting to know each other. Each person then shared something new they had learned about their partner. Tahseen shared five facts about Dipawar, and Dipawar Tahseen shared five ideas. This activity allowed everyone to learn more about their companions. From this, it became evident that not enough time had been given to understanding those who work together. When given the opportunity, individuals courageously expressed positive opinions about their colleagues, highlighting the importance of knowing one another. This activity fostered a sense of understanding and emphasized the need to be aware of the likes and difficulties of our colleagues. As a result, a poignant moment arose, bringing tears to everyone’s eyes and instilling a profound sense of realization.

Continuing on, as they moved forward, observing bullock carts, horses, and cows, the silk sarees added to the village atmosphere, enhancing the experience for the participants. The daughters, in particular, heightened the village ambiance. Afterward, everyone enjoyed breakfast and explored the exhibition. In the afternoon, the group gathered to savor a meal prepared in the village style. Following that, they tasted banana and buttermilk while discussing the approach to completing the next Sidbi work. During the discussion, it was emphasized that everyone should put in extra effort to complete the project on time. Moreover, there was a plan to provide training to all workers based on their skills, including physiotherapy training and speech therapy training. The goal was to strengthen the workforce of the foundation in every position. Surendranath sir motivated all the workers to do more, inspiring them to put in additional effort. In response, everyone pledged to work harder, demonstrating their commitment to the cause.

Subsequently, all the girls danced in the rain, partaking in the joyous game and expressing their happiness. They further heightened their experience by riding on a horse. Finally, the day concluded with a delightful breakfast and the distribution of tambula, marking the end of the thoughtful and eventful day. In this manner, the Deal Foundation provided an opportunity for all activists to instigate change and share their feelings. The day of brainstorming and activities fostered innovation among everyone involved. From this day of collaborative thinking, the Deal Foundation aims to strengthen the bond among its members and contribute positively to society.

If you have any specific questions regarding this blog or need assistance, please feel free to contact us at Info@deal-foundation.com. For more information about the work we do, you can also visit our website at www.deal-foundation.com.