SWADHAR is an innovative alternate rehabilitation model for rural visually challenged persons. The unique feature of the model is that it provides comprehensive rehabilitation support right from vocational and life skill development training , stable employment opportunity and social rehabilitation support like facilitating marriage and housing to ensure the persons takes charge of own life and lives self reliant dignified life in a true sense.
Transformation through empowerment – “Give Us Chance Not a Charity”.
The key theme of the intervention is to empower persons with disability not only to overcome their impairment but to contribute towards the sustainable and equitable development of the society. This is the mission to turn around perception of society towards persons with disability by transforming them from recipient to valuable contributors to the society and economy.
Based on experiential learning and identified rehabilitation support needs of rural visually challenged youth the organization has adopted approach and practices that have emerged as the best rehabilitation practices for rural persons with disability. These practices and rehabilitation process has been named as SWADHAR Model for sustainable rehabilitation of rural persons with disability.
Handloom Weaving Center
Economic independence is a prerequisite for sustainable rehabilitation of persons with disability and for the same organization has identified handloom weaving as a one of the feasible and sustainable livelihood especially for the rural visually challenged persons.
Handloom weaving is one of the most suitable livelihoods for rural blind and handicapped persons as it does not require educational qualification and also not an electricity supply.
Innovation Product - Sari Recycling into Mats
In the process of developing handloom weaving activity Swadhar center has invented and developed an innovative product that is “Mat Making from Old /Used Saris”. Used, unwanted, fainted saris are converted into beautiful articles like floor mats, door mats, couch mats, yoga mats, car mats, carpets and bags, table runners on handloom which are very useful items in any household. This activity has considerable potential to generate employment opportunities and can be replicated in different parts of the country at a larger scale. Presently 40 people have gained stable employment in SWADHAR’s handloom weaving unit.
Technology Support by IIT Chennai & The office of PSA, New Delhi
In collaboration with IIT Chennai and The Office of Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Delhi a special project has been initiated to develop advanced handloom for visually challenged weavers for mat making from old Saris. The new handloom will reduce drudgery of visually challenged weavers and increase productivity. The handloom weaving and sari recycling has huge potential to generate employment for rural visually challenged youth in the region.
Acupressure and Massage Training Course
Employment generation for differently able persons is a critical need and also a huge challenge. Massage and Acupressure is an upcoming livelihood option and GSP has set up first of its kind training center in Marathwada region with the support of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.. The training center offers free of cost scientific training in massage and acupressure to visually challenged youth. In last two years 32 youth are trained who are earning Rs. 5000-7000 per month.
Sensory skills of visually challenged persons are quite sharp hence they can identify acupressure points accurately and also massage scientifically. The impairment here converts into their strength. It does not require much capital hence any person after proper training can take up Massage & Acupressure as a self-employment.
There is good demand for massage service as health consciousness is rising and people ready to pay for it, also many people need massage service as a treatment –especially elderly people. It can be a sustainable livelihood as there is huge potential client base and increasing health issues coupled with occupational hazards of educated class and their willingness to spend for wellness, relaxation will sustain the demand for massage services in future.
Universal demand – this service is needed almost everywhere hence rural as well as urban or in any state or region this service is in demand so this training programme can be up scaled and could be helpful to may unemployed visually challenged persons.