Monday, November 30, 2009


Tamilnadu, India

Nandini Voice for The Deprived, a Chennai based NGO, organized an extraordinary meeting at Chennai on 29th November,2009 in connection with the World Disabled Day, to honour the self employed disabled persons belonging to lower income group.

The objective was to honour the self employed disabled persons who have the courage, determination and capability to self employ themselves inspite of the extremely difficult conditions faced by them in life.

22 disabled persons consisting of orthopaedically disabled, visually impaired, speech impaired, hearing impaired and mentally ill persons were honoured with cash award, a gift and certificate. These disabled persons hail from different parts of Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore, Nagercoil, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchi, Villupuram, Perambalur, Chennai. They are involved in variety of self employment activity such as making agarbathi, candles, batik paintings, decorative wooden pieces, plastic garlands, metal polishing, plastic basket making, marketing of products.

In addition, five disabled persons from Dindigul, Madurai, Perambalur, Villupuram and Chennai who are serving the cause of the disabled persons were also honoured.

The disabled persons were honoured and presented the awards by Swami Gautamananda, President, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai , in the presence of Sri. Gnani, well known Tamil writer and social activist.

Several self employed disabled persons also spoke about the problems in self employment pursuits and their aspirations.

Speaking on the occasion, Swami Gautamananda quoted extensively from the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and stressed the need for self confidence and pride in one’s activity and chosen profession. He pointed out that every human being has the potentials, whether they are disabled or normal and the sparks have to be kindled in the individuals by teachings and up bringing. The disabled persons have all the capability to achieve great heights and they are already doing and emerging as role models in the society.

Sri. Gnani said that the disabled persons should educate and qualify themselves in the best manner possible, as their level of education would ultimately benefit them in achieving high success in their self employment activity. Viewing the extraordinary initiatives of the disabled persons in the self employment pursuits, he said that their capability should be highlighted and brought to the attention of the society at large , which can be done only by active media support.

The meeting was attended by nearly 350 persons from all over Tamil Nadu of which more than 95% were disabled or belong to lower income group.

It was disappointing that people in the middle and upper income group did not turn up for the meeting in good number in spite of invitations sent to over 6000 of them by mail and printed invitation cards. The organizers desired that people from middle and upper income group should attend the meeting, see the extraordinary capability of the disabled persons, hear them and encourage them. This did not happen.

The organizers also sent repeated invitations to all the leading newspapers and journals both English and Tamil published from Tamil Nadu as well as T V Channels and neighbour hood newspapers. Only two of them turned up. The expectations of the organizers that media would cover this unique meeting to publicise the capability and initiatives of disabled persons did not also materialize.

The disabled persons went with great satisfaction. They were provided refreshments and lunch and were looked after with dignity and respect which they richly deserve.

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