Gramin Shramik Pratisthan
An Organization Dedicated to Human Development of Rural Disadvantaged Sections
Grameen Shramik Pratishthan - GSP is a not-for- profit voluntary organization working in the Latur district of Maharashtra state. GSP works on the issue of disability and endeavors for rural community development, women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation.
The organization is registered under Societies Registration Act 1860 and Public Trust Act 1950. GSP has two distinct
initiatives that are namely SWADHAR for disability interventions and GRAMODAY for rural community development.
Own Campus: The organization has own campus of one hector at village Budhoda situated on Latur-Ausa state highway which just 12 km from district town where head office situated. The campus has is equipped with all essential amenities and infrastructure with accommodation capacity of 100 persons.
Genesis: GSP was founded as a local development facilitating agencyin 1981 under the guidance and support of eminent socialist Dr. Dada Saheb Gujar and Hon. Shri. Yedunathji Thatte by Mr. Harishchandra Sude.
Since inception GSP has been endeavouring for the development of underprivileged sections of the society in the backward Marathwada region. The organization has pioneered various development activities and projects in the area of rural development, women empowerment and rehabilitation of rural persons with disability.
Initial Work with Right Based Approach: Under the leadership of Mr. Harishchandra Sude, GSP has organized more than 10,000 rural landless labors and artisans in the region. Social action by organizing landless labors and building their pressure groups to advocate their right to livelihood at community and government level was the strategy of intervention during 1981-1986.
Distribution of farm land to landless labors was identified as an action programme for the prevention of migration and livelihood security of vulnerable sections of rural communities by visionary act of Mr Sude.
Constructive Development Work: Since 1986, GSP focused on constructive integrated rural development programmes including watershed development, implementation of ideal village development programme, integrated natural resource management programme, women empowerment and poverty alleviation support programmes. Mr. Sude has been invited as a civil society representative on various committees and initiatives of government
as well as non-government agencies.
One of the crucial initiatives of GSP is SWADHAR Rehabilitation Centre which has emerged as an alternate rehabilitation model for rural visually challenged persons which works with principle of comprehensive rehabilitation support and empowerment.
Rural Development Work: GRAMODAY is rural development initiative of GSP under which various community empowerment projects are implemented.
The Issue of Inclusion
Rehabilitation of persons with disability in true sense especially in case of visually challenged and handicapped persons is the opportunity to earn and claim self-reliant dignified life. However in India majority of the persons with disability are not only remaining deprived of employment opportunity but also they are abandoned due to diminishing social support system
In the current globalizing economy the market forces have overwhelmed all sections of society and all spheres of life. In globalizing market driven economy qualified individuals with competitive edge are also struggling to match with pace of market forces because of advancement in technology at high pace and growing competitive nature of economy.
Job opportunities in both public and private sector are limited and in case of persons with disability (PWD) it is extremely difficult to claim those under these circumstances. The share of disabled people in all posts remains negligible, at 0.44%. In India employment rate among differently able population is less than 37 p.c. and according to the sources it has been declining. It is observed that employment rate was 43% in 1991 that declined to 38% in 2002, despite the country's economic growth.
Shrinking Social Support System
Due to drastic change in social and economic milieu social support system for dependents is diminishing. Because of popularizing nuclear family system even parents/ elderly struggle to find care and support. The person persons with disability gets care and space in family till the parents earns, but once siblings get married and start taking charge of family or live separately then dependents like persons with disability are abandoned.
Drudgery of rural person with disabilities
Under these circumstances rural persons with disability are completely left out due to ignorance, poverty, restricted employment opportunities and lack of rehabilitation support service. Majority of rural persons with disability belongs to families below poverty line. In the rural area deprivation from education and lack of access to special services fortifies difficulties in the life of persons with disability since his/her childhood. Persons with disability from underprivileged family get trapped in vicious circle of poverty with aggravated vulnerability and deprivation enforced by impairment.
Women with disability face multiple disadvantages
Among disabled population, women with disability are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged segment. Marriage of the girl with disability is extremely difficult under usual scenario. Parents are unable to support & take responsibility since they themselves do not find space in separated nuclear families. Under this social milieu disabled women are the most distressed and disadvantaged section among women and disabled population since they are not only victims of impairment but also of poverty and patriarchy.
According to the Census 2001, there are 2.19 crore persons with disability in India who constitute 2.13 percent of the total population. Seventy five per cent of persons with disability live in rural areas and fifty-one percent persons with disabilities are illiterate. Only 34 p.c. of persons with disability in India are employed. Unemployment rate among rural differently able population is more than 80 p.c.
Among disabled population visually challenged persons are in majority. In the target area of the GSP i.e. Marathwada region is a home for 22.27 p.c. state’s disabled population and 1.39 lakh people suffer with visual impairment.