India: CBM India announced the launch of Sankalp, a women co-operative society in Maharashtra that aims to support communities specifically women with disabilities. This initiative is designed primarily to help women with disabilities and vulnerable women bring socio-economic changes in their lives.
The cooperative also aims to support vulnerable women and people with disabilities (primarily women with disabilities) to become self-sufficient, financially as well as in other ways. The society will provide support in terms of financial inclusion along with a host of programs to help them become self-reliant and independent.
Supported and coordinated by Naman Seva Samiti (NMS), Sankalp’s comprehensive programs also cover various social issues faced by vulnerable women and women with disabilities. This includes basic sanitation, hygiene, education, women empowerment, and inclusive growth. The organization is formed by 500 members, out of them 449 are women and 51 are male members. About 198 members are people with disabilities while 302 members have an immediate family member with a disability and 3 members who belong to the general category.
Furthermore, the directors and members who are driving this cooperative society are also people with disabilities and belong to other vulnerable communities who are addressing their own problems, making this a unique and one of the first of its kind co-operative initiative.
The Launch event was inaugurated by Dr. Sara Varughese, Country Director, CBM India who is noted for her work in rehabilitation, inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities in India. She notes “People with disabilities need all the help that they can get in this difficult time. The CBM Sankalp initiative will work hard to help them break free from the shackles of poverty and other challenges on a day-to-day basis.”
Mr. Anil Nagne, Block Development Officer of Saoner, went on to express his gratitude. “We steadfastly believe in our mission and its objectives to drive meaningful change. And we consider it is our privilege that noteworthy organisations like CBM India and other government agencies like the National Rural Livelihood Mission are supportive in our efforts to provide opportunities for people with disabilities”.
Sankalp aims to bring about the much-required and meaningful improvement into the lives of people with disabilities in Maharashtra. The initiative will bridge the gap between the institutions that are willing to extend support and the people who could not access them due to various barriers. This co-operative society has the vision to increase 20-fold within the next 5 years and to reach out to over ten thousand individuals and families.