CHENNAI: Despite laws which guarantee persons with disabilities (PwDs) a three per cent reservation in government jobs, it has always been a struggle for the diffabled to land a job which will empower them financially.
A new initiative promoted by Vidya Sagar, a city-based NGO, will take on the challenge of finding livelihood opportunities for PwDs.
Starting this Thursday, the premises of Vidya Sagar on Ranjith Road, Kotturpuram, will host Kalakkal
Kadai, a permanent space, which would market products designed by the diffabled.
Products ranging from handbags, to bedspreads, sarees and paper products will be put up for sale at the Kadai, which is a culmination of hard efforts put in by about 40 members of the organisation over eight months. Anuradha Shankar, PRO, Vidya Sagar, told Express, “Kalakkal Kadai is an attempt to work out a marketing initiative for adults who are either working from home, or in neighborhood initiatives or within an organisation like Vidya Sagar.”
Launched on a experimental basis, the Kadai is eagerly awaited by Vidya Sagar members, many of whom suffer from multiple disabilities. They are excited about the reception their products will receive from the public. While Partha feels elated to see his thread painted cloth transformed into an end product, Shruthi who has woven paper and created stationery products said she was proud to work on a loom.
It took a great effort by the members to come up with the products, Anuradha said, “To make this possible we had to adapt machines and techniques, working in coordination with designers.” However, Anuradha says, “While we hope our initiative goes a long way in empowering PwDs , it is important that all stakeholders, including the government takes effort to make equity to livelihood a reality.” The Kadai will be open on all days, except Sundays from 10am to 7 pm.