Revamped ‘Kaivalya’ project launched by Kerala minister to help disabled people become self-reliant
Kerala minister KK Shailaja inaugurated a revamped ‘Kaivalya’ project aimed to make disabled people independent by helping them start their own businesses. Though ‘Kaivalya’ was launched almost three years ago, it never fully took off. Disability rights groups are now hoping for the best.
Kerala government has always been in the forefront to implement programs, schemes and policies for people with disabilities. One of their initiatives was ‘Kaivalya’ project aimed to provide funds for disabled people to start their own businesses. Though it was started a few years ago, only 700 people had benefited. Earlier this week, state social justice minister KK Shailaja inaugurated a revamped ‘Kaivalya’ project in which the Kerala State Handicapped Persons’ Welfare Corporation and Employment Exchange has collaborated to reach out to 7500 disabled people in the state.
‘Kaivalya’, an unrealized project
According to ‘Kaivalya’ project, a specified amount will be given to the disabled beneficiary to start their own businesses. For many, finding a job is a hard task. The Covid pandemic only added to their woes. By starting the project three years back, the state government aimed to empower disabled people to become self-reliant and independent. Though more than 7000 people applied for it, only 700 benefitted.
Numerous protests were held by leading NGO’s in the state including the All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation (AKWRF) that demanded speedy action from the government.
With state minister KK Shailaja inaugurating a revamped ‘Kaivalya’ project, all disabled people who applied for it are hopeful to start afresh in their lives.
A much needed initiative
Minister KK Shailaja took to social media to share the details. “All the 7449 applications we had received for ‘Kaivalya’ will be allotted in one phase. In order to provide self-employment to all those who applied, Rs 37.24 crore will be allotted”, she said.
Rajeev Palluruthy, Secretary, AKWRF says that ‘Kaivalya’ remained non-existent for over two years. The past nine months have been tough for many disabled people who already had jobs, but lost them due to the Covid pandemic. “Over past three years, we sent letters to ministers and held protests across the state in hopes of implementing ‘Kaivalya’. Now we are glad that concerned departments and officials have stepped forward for our cause”, he says adding, “I have enquired with many people who applied for ‘Kaivalya’ across the state and the Employment Exchange has already contacted them. So this is good news. This time, we are hopeful that all those who applied will benefit”.
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