Making Mentallychallenged Self-Reliant

Umang

Making Mentallychallenged Self-Reliant

Umang is a Jaipur-based NGO that works on making 250 mentally-challenged people employable. It reaches out to persons with disabilities in rural and tribal areas, promotes self reliance and community participation.

Ms. Pramila Jain has been in the fi eld of vocational training and functional education for over 14 years. She chats up with SustainabilityNext at her stall at 2015 Jaipur Literature Festival. Excerpts

What was your inspiration to get into this area?

We started Umang in 2006. My motivation was to help these special children become part of the society instead of being out of it. Parents and trained staff play a big role in making this happen.

As a venture is it breaking even?

Yes. We have three categories of offering in the school – vocational training, work with those who are severely challenged and the last is about helping them with functional activities. In vocational training we have 45 students, 10 are paid, 25 are under training, 10 are also in training but we can’t take them as they are under 18. With them we do skills training.

What’s been your experience working here?

It feels good as I am working for a cause. It’s personally very fulfi lling. Those who can go for open employment, we are trying to train them accordingly – we train them for employment in packaging units. A parent has a sari shop, they want their son to learn how to pack saris and be able to handle the shop. So we train him accordingly, sometimes it takes 2-3 years also. We also train a few in housekeeping in hotels. Umang is a Jaipur-based NGO that works on making 250 mentally-challenged people employable. It reaches out to persons with disabilities in rural and tribal areas, promotes self reliance and community participation.

Ms. Pramila Jain has been in the fi eld of vocational training and functional education for over 14 years. She chats up with SustainabilityNext at her stall at 2015 Jaipur Literature Festival.

Girls’ parents are not interested in sending them out because they aren’t able to protect themselves. So they work in the shelter workshop, under supervision of instructors. Last year two students were employed in a pottery unit in Jaipur.

As a career how do you see it?

There are a lot of choices but if you want to do something then you have to think differently.

You sell clothes and other handicraft made by these people. How’s it selling?

We do anywhere between Rs.15 -20 lakhs a year. We are trying to manage our expenses with this. We do get some private donations but we have not taken grants as such.

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