Disabled people learn & earn at Roilang Livelihood Academy in Meghalaya
The Roilang Livelihood Academy at Shillong in Meghalaya is one of the most sought after NGOs in the north east. They have empowered over 5,000 people with various kinds of disabilities.
Apart from training and equipping them for skilled jobs, Roilang also ensures that disabled children get an education without paying thousands of rupees.
Roilang was kickstarted in 1981 by a Spanish woman named Rozario. She left India in 2006, but a group of people continued with her work. Apart from disabled people, Roilang caters to those who are from economically backward families as well. They have two centres, one each in Shillong and Tura.
Roilang's staff members equip their students with skills needed to make handmade paper, cards, files, handicrafts, pickles, jams, bakery products, chocolates, farming, poultry. They also train disabled people to take up catering services.
Our motto is to only segregate garbage, and not people on the basis of caste or their disability. Inclusion is our priority. We work towards the welfare of people from all sections of society. But 80% of our members are disabled people. - Carmo Noronha, Executive Director, Roilang Livelihood Academy.
The organization is inclusive when it comes to its staff too. Many of the staff members are disabled people and the institution is headed by a visually impaired person.
Roilang mainly caters to people from rural community. They train over a 100 people at a time. Their mantra is to give back all that mankind gets from nature. Hence, they ensure that they practice only eco-friendly ways and recycling.
Roilang has ample support from the government of Meghalaya, which takes care of 60% of their hostel facilities. The institution is looking at ways to expand its services across the state. This way more disabled people can earn a livelihood and become independent.