A pilot project has been proposed to provide vocational training to physically-challenged people so that they can start their own businesses such as mobile repair shops, stationery shops and manufacturing of clothes and footwear. Over 3,500 people in rural areas have already been trained to earn their own living.
"We are reaching out to the disabled people in more than 700 mandals of the state. These livelihood programmes will enable them to enter the professional mainstream," said A Murali, additional CEO, Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP).
After a long campaign, a GO was issued recently which extended entrepreneurial incentives under the Industrial Investment Promotion Policy to the differently-abled at par with incentives given to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. As per the GO, disabled people persons seeking to start their own businesses will be eligible for subsidies on land, power, skill upgradation etc. Further, women entrepreneurs will be eligible for an additional 5% investment above the 35% offered to men.
"Many physically-challenged people approach us to discuss how they can start their own enterprise, but are often unable to proceed because of specific guidelines. With the GO, there is finally some assistance," said Malla Reddy, assistant director of Andhra Pradesh Vikalunga Co-operative Corporation.
While the state's welfare department has tried to make an inclusive professional system for the physically-challenged by employing over 14,000 persons in government jobs, many continue to remain unemployed due to lack of opportunities. "There are only a certain number of vacancies available in government jobs. However, there is no limit or restriction for entrepreneurial enterprises. It should be encouraged and implemented to boost the quality of lives of the disabled people ," said Amruth Reddy, president, Differently-abled employees of Andhra Pradesh.
Source : TOI , 4th March 2014