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Inauguration of Livelihood Resource Center - Samarthanam, CISCO & Wadhwani Foundation

Image Courtesy _ Nova Foundation
Today, we marked another milestone in Samarthanam's journey of 17 years by inaugurating Livelihood Resource Centre (LRC). This project is in partnership with CISCO and Wadhwani Foundation (under its OND - Opportunity Network for Disabled initiative). This LRC is unique, since it's located at our HSR Layout premises, which is a barrier free universal design building with need specific architectural changes allowing safe mobility of PWDs, as mentioned in UNCRPD. 

At Samarthanam, we realize that, apart from education and co-curricular activities, real empowerment will come through access to finance - the hard earned money by the weaker section of our society. To actualize economic inclusion via skill development, we have set up one stop training center in the form of LRC for a range of industry specific skills training.

 (L to R) : Jayanna -Director Disability Department, Kupendra Reddy -MLA
Bommanahalli, Shyam Kaluve - Director, Shyam Suri - VP.

(L to R) Latha Narasimhamurthy - Corporator HSR Ward,
Mahantesh GK - Managing Trustee Samarthanam.

Training in progress at LRC.
During a minimum three months residential course with 25 students per batch, candidates will be trained in two essential modules, namely, computer technology and life skills. Following which, based on their aptitude they can choose from 7 industry specific modules like IT, BPO, Retail, Hospitality, Garment, Banking and Insurance or Entrepreneurship and Business Management training, respectively. Our placement officer will ensure that on completion of course, trained people get appropriately placed and enter mainstream job market to earn gainful employment with respect and dignity.

LRC model is a hallmark of how sustainable projects can be built after demonstrating efficacy and efficiency of a small innovation served as pilot pitch. And, how companies can build meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects and drive innovation through inclusion of otherwise neglected diaspora of PWDs. Being in Bangalore, the IT capital it looks all the more relevant and timely to upscale this model. Currently, we are running 10 LRC in five states namely, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Orissa and Karnataka with support of other donors. 

It's time for stakeholders to take note of such skill building projects, document learning, surmount challenges, and showcase positive outcomes and impact. With involvement of industry leaders for funding, technical inputs and morale support, we are confident to take inclusion of persons with disability at the next level - where they earn high wages, holds leadership positions, pay taxes and not become a liability restricted to meager pension from Govt. bodies. 

Related Post : Unlock Pockets of Dream - Come take Education Key (visit to integrated school)

15th August, 2014

Independence of thoughts is real independence. The deed to respect and nurture differences free from favoritism of particular "caste", "native place" , "religion", "gender" or "pedigree".

Vande Maatram !

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Deaf Mamma at the Gym - Part 2

But one fine day.

This hot bod female in her body hugging t-shirt, shorts and primary school girl like waist came in.

I could hear the announcement, self proclaimed gym instructor is thrown from her ivory tower of  fitness and the obese protégés can go and join new master trainer. And in no time, I-thought-so loyal uncle and aunty was checking the new chick for tips - muted but eyes rooted, of course. Yes, in South India, you do whatever but you have to meditate - means - keep your mouth shut all the time. Be it gym, lift, department store, changing room, ladies spa, steam room, swimming pool, bhajan, keertan. 

Empty vessels are not allowed to make sound and filled ones don't bother of what you think of them or they practice yoga.

Saans andar kheenchiye, bahar chodiye. Heheh

And that's when you are not in Europe, yet they behave in such highly self disciplinarian manner. What I don't understand that see western countries have low population density. But we are Indians. We are born amidst so many people and this multiplier effect continues while we are brought up, grew up, our 50 students class rooms, married in another big big family until our death. Like, we are so attuned to seeing people and giving in to senseless talk.

Or bhabhi ji, bade chamak rahe ho aaj? Kahan jaa rahe ho aap?

Or Beta re, yeh shirt thodi choti nahi hai tumhari. Preeti ki pehan li hai kya ?

Or Hey Da ! Oh ! Really, when ? (Bangalore youth lingo)

I mean totally no yaariyan talk in our gym. This "muted and rooted look" more than often makes me feel or fall out of the place. Still, no matter what, I do, after a few minutes of niceties I either behave like them, depends on mood or look for exit.  See, I am a Northie , a Libran, an extrovert and a woman. In short, I don't mind striking a friendship with anybody or everybody.

Mujhse fraanship karoge, bus Daady ko ni batana please.

Anyways, I haven't lost an inch, I consoled myself for my two lost followers. But look at her, dude.. To satisfy my sports-woe-manship I told myself, I am athletic and she is svelte - so you can't compare two body types. Logical thinking no J factor, what so ever.

And see, I can't diet. I am a connoisseur of food, taste, fine dining with eclectic mix of cuisines. What does she know about it?

Hunnh !

Yes, a woman can go to any extent to justify how she looks and how the most prettiest, fittest girl on earth is anything but dirt for her - if it really comes to comparisons. I guess the last sentence is kind of GK about the fairer sex and you ought to know it.


I chose to ignore her.

To be continued...