First phase of special livelihood package to cover 150 schools
Kudumbashree has plans to provide skill training to students in more BUDS schools and rehabilitation centres.
Of the 291 BUDS schools and institutions, skill training is already being provided in a few at present. The target now is to increase the number of institutions where skill training is provided to 150 as part of the first phase of a special livelihood package.
The institutions selected include those with more number of children, those with more students in the mild to moderate category of disability, and those with more space to take up the training and manufacture of products.
Skill training will be provided in five areas – paper pen and seed pen production, manufacture of notepads, paper files and carry-bags, handicrafts, and floor mats – in these institutions, including those in the districts that are already making these products.
Kudumbashree has received ₹4 crore from the State Planning Board under the special livelihood initiative.
Students, parents, and teacher in each BUDS institution have identified the skills to be acquired by the students, and preparation of a detailed project report by each institution is nearly complete. Once approval is given, special financial assistance will be given to each institution as part of the livelihood initiative for setting up basic infrastructure and buying machinery. Funds will also be provided for working capital.
Production is expected to kick off within two months, says Arun P. Rajan, State Programme Manager, Social Development, Kudumbashree.
Mr. Rajan says that with the scaling up of training, activities aimed at mental development of students will also be geared towards earning an income.
The activities taken up by them will be safe and can be done without much difficulty using simple machinery. For instance, floor mats being made by BUDS institutions in Ernakulam are in demand. Its production can be extended to more institutions at an affordable cost. Similarly, the Kannur district mission is involved in making seed pens and paper pens that are quite popular.
Parents, especially mothers of children with special needs who often have to be with them throughout the day and have no opportunity or means to earn an income, will also be roped in for making such products. This will enable them to be within reach of the children and earn money at the same time, says Mr. Rajan.
Nearly 3,000 students and their families are expected to benefit from scaling up of the initiative.
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