Saturday, December 3, 2022: The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), in association with Directorate of Social Defence and Gujarat State Handicapped (Divyang) Finance and Development Corporation, Social Justice and Empowerment Department, Govt. of Gujarat has set up the Centre for Empowerment of Differently Abled (CEDA). Today, EDII observed the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by felicitating successful Divyang entrepreneurs and inviting noted professionals to talk about the need to have an inclusive society with opportunities for all.
Chief Guest, Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, IAS, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India graced the event virtually. Also present on the occasion were: Shri Jayant Kishor, IAS, Under Secretary, Social Justice & Empowerment Dept., Govt. of Gujarat; Shri Yuvraj Seddharth, Under Secretary, Dept. of Panchayat, Govt. Of Gujarat; Shri Nisheeth Mehta, Founder & CEO, Microsign Products (recruits only differently abled); Shri Kalpesh Vaniya, Dy. Director, Directorate of Social Justice, Govt. of Gujarat and Shri J S Saini, Professor, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, Chandigarh.
On the occasion, Shri Rajesh Aggarwal said, “The society has to bring in empathy in its approach towards the differently abled. The focus should be on empowerment through training, skill building and counselling. New opportunities need to be created for them and they need to be assimilated in the mainstream. The government is working in this area with the support of institutions like EDII.”
Shri Kishor emphasized how disability should not make a person lose the willingness and the confidence to achieve their goal. He said, “One must defeat the odds and keep moving ahead with grit and persistence. There are several newer initiatives of the Department towards social inclusion of the differently abled and I am sure these will cumulatively bring about a huge change five years down the line.”
Shri Yuvraj Seddharth appreciated EDII’s initiative in making the differently abled self-reliant. He talked about the schemes and policies that should reach them and the need to sensitize the differently abled to comprehend the finer aspects of these measures instituted for them.
Dr Sunil Shukla, Director General, EDII, said, “The differently abled have unique competencies. These need to be identified and nurtured holistically. EDII’s Centre for Empowerment for Differently Abled has reached out to 8,000 potential entrepreneurs through sensitization and training programmes, and 683 enterprises have been set up until March 2022 by differently abled entrepreneurs. We look forward to developing many more enterprises owned by the differently abled and making it an inclusive society.”
Addressing the gathering, Shri Nisheeth Mehta, an entrepreneur who employs only the differently abled opined, “There is a need to remove attitudinal barriers and provide rehabilitation for the differently abled and this will come about when the differently abled and the abled differently are put on the same platform. This way, those who can recruit them or give them a better life will be able to identify their strengths better.”
On this occasion, noted Divyang Entrepreneurs were awarded for rising above their limitations. The awardees included, CA. Vipin Jain (Manoj Vipin & Co.); Mr. Ketankumar R. Patel (Shree Weltex Industries); Mr. Amitkumar M Patel (NexusLink Services India Pvt. Ltd); Mr. Hemendra N Jansari (Y.H.R. Multiple Supply & Services) and Ms. Nisha Salet (Satva Packaging). Each was presented with a citation and a cash award.
The one-day event also saw several panel discussions on removing the hurdles faced by the differently abled and making the world a better one for them.
As a part of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, sports competitions for the disabled including carrom, chess, badminton and table tennis & painting competition (for deaf & mute children) were organised on Friday and the winners were awarded on Saturday in this event.