Updated on: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 07:20 AM IST

How rotary is making a difference for the differently-abled


The visionary project ‘Able to Ability’ introduced in July 2020 is the brainchild of Vision year DG Sunnil Mehra, who is passionate about projects that support and empower People with Disabilities (PwD), better known as Differently Abled. This will be an ongoing project of the District.

Rotary’s noble vision is to empower differently-abled adults through employment opportunity to lead a life with pride and dignity.

A beach was littered with thousands of starfish washed ashore. A young boy was throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one. An old man passing by asked ‘Son, there are thousands of starfish, what difference can you make?’ The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and said, “it made a difference to that one!”

Our country is faced with a huge task of providing support to disabled people which is inadequate given the number of people affected. But each one of us can make a difference for making the differently-abled feel included and empowered. They are normally not visible and the real magnitude of the problem is not seen by us.

While Rotary Club of Bombay Powai took the lead, Presidents from 16 Rotary clubs were quick to join the movement. Rotary partnered with like-minded NGOs including MBA Foundation, MANN, Sol’s Arc, SEC India, Ekalavya, Parivarthan, Samarthanam, Seva Sahayog, Asmitha and Ratna Nidhi Trust. They will be reaching out to many more.

The activities include the exchange of best practices in vocational training, sharing of resources and online training modules, sale of products made by those people in sheltered workshops and joint efforts towards employment.

Rotary’s action on the ground towards their goals:

1. Rotarians running their own business came forward to help. One of the first was Vikas Labs, who offered employment in their factory. Rotary is looking forward to many more Rotarians coming forward to offer suitable employment. They will do an employee sensitisation program and also handhold them in early stages.

2. They have also signed an MOU with Job portal ‘Helper4U’ and recruitment agency ‘Tracers India’ to enhance job opportunities.

3. Rotary Club of Bombay Powai along with the NGO ‘MANN’, secured the first CSR project grant thanks to the tie-up with the company Cole-Parmer for online vocational training of mentally challenged people.

4. Ratna Nidhi Trust came forward to offer free prosthetics (Jaipur foot) and other mobility aids and Rotary Club of Mumbai Jewels organised a free prosthetics camp jointly with the BMC. The rotary has the vision to provide 1000 mobility kits.

5. Rotary Club of Mumbai Juhu organised training programs including health and wellbeing, to support physically disabled people.

6. SDSM College, Palghar and Rotary Club of Palghar have agreed to set up a Multi-Disciplinary Vocational Training Centre exclusively for differently-abled to make them employable or become entrepreneurs.

7. RLCS – Residential Life Care Services for the differently-abled in association with MBA Foundation is on the anvil. This will impact lifelong care of 50 PwD with medical facilities and vocational training. This major project costing Rs. 2.5 crores for 3 years, will need the help multiple Rotary Clubs and Corporate sponsorships.

Click here for a presentation on the project of Able to Ability:

For more details contact: Project Director Rt. A.V. Suresh (9821097310) and Avenue Chair Rtn. Hari Prakash (7710006661)



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Published on: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 07:20 AM IST