Despite 2.21% of its population or over 26 million Indians being disabled, India has not been able to overcome infrastructural, institutional and attitudinal barriers towards the disabled community. Unemployment rates of the disabled in India is over 70%, which results in the disabled individual being dependent, consequently having a damaging effect on their psyche as well as that of their household, where family members may have to cut down their work hours to care for them, further adding to the financial burden. World Deaf Day Date, History and Significance: Know More About the Day That Fights for the Human Rights of Deaf People.

The All India Foundation of Deaf Women was set up in 2015 with the aim to rehabilitate disabled deaf women, and empower them to become self-sufficient. To further their commitment towards the cause, a new Skilling Centre will be inaugurated at Ballard Estate in Mumbai on April 30, 2022 . The Centre will offer a number of skills sessions to help deaf women between the age group of 15-35 years to gain skills that can help them enter the mainstream and become financially independent , positively contributing members of society.

Ms Rajyalakshmi Rao, Founder Chairperson of All India Foundation of Deaf Women (AIFDW) says, “Historically, persons with disabilities have been looked upon as a liability. This leads to discrimination, harassment against them and their social isolation. Deaf children are incredibly talented and can even outshine you and me if given the right opportunities. I am very excited to launch a new Skilling centre, where we will conduct many skilling sessions through the day in different batches and empower deaf women to stand on their own feet.” IDCA Organises Women’s 3rd T20 National Cricket Championship for Deaf 2022 in Mumbai.

The Skilling centre will offer a number of courses in different batches such as Computers, Electronic assembling, tailoring , candle making, English writing, sign language etc. Other programs like beauty, cooking, flower decoration courses, hotel services etc will be outsourced certificate programs.

Apart from teaching skill sets, the centre also holds other activities to help deaf women lead well-rounded lives such as interstate dance competitions. More significantly, an annual event called ‘Pranay Milan’ is organised where the women are introduced to young men with similar disabilities to help them find a life partner.

Ms Rao has had a long association with uplifting the underprivileged and has worked with uplifting the Dalit community for over 25 years. About her passion for the cause of the deaf women, Ms Rao shares, “I have always lived by the philosophy that our lives become more beautiful by helping the less privileged. Indian society is very patriarchal and once a girl child with a disability is born , her and her parent’s lives are full of gloom.”

“I believe if you help these girls from the ages of 15-35 years, you can transform their lives from being helpless individuals to positive and cheerful, self-sufficient ones. All they need is you to invest a little time and then they can swim and live happily on their own,” she concluded

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 02, 2022 12:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website