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Umang Foundation in Shimla is empowering those in need and promoting inclusion

For decades, Shimla has remained one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India and even abroad. The natural beauty of the city, climate, and friendly people attracts tourists from across the world. Adding to the charm of Shimla are the organisations and social activists who are focused on helping those in need and making it an Inclusive place.

Umang Foundation, a charitable trust in Shimla, is improving the lives of people with disabilities and empowering them with information regarding their rights.

Apart from the disabled community, Umang also supports children from weaker sections of the society, the elderly, and women in need. Founded in 2007, the expenses of the trust are met with by founding members themselves.

We don't want the needy to wait till we get financial support from others and so we pitch in whatever we can out of our own earnings. We want to empower the people who are not able to take care of themselves due to physical limitations, social and economic factors. - Ajai Srivastava, Chairman, Umang Foundation

Srivastava, a well-known figure in disability rights circles, is the nodal officer for disability-related matters in Himachal Pradesh University. He has been leading the drive to ensure that provisions of the RPWD Act are followed in the state. Like in many parts of India, provisions of this important Act have been followed in a lackadaisical manner in this state.

Children with thalassemia are now getting free medication in the state due to advocacy of Umang Foundation. Another important focus is the rehabilitation of people with mental illness. Be it free education for disabled students, accessible campuses, libraries or rightful admissions, Umang is a force behind hundreds of disabled students in Himachal Pradesh and also their voice. Many visually impaired students and those with other disabilities are getting quality education due to the efforts of Umang.

Muskan, a singer and student, is pursing a post graduate degree in music at the university. She was also nominated as a youth icon by the Election Commission in the 2019 polls. Muskan says Umang has supported her in many ways.

"I have been associated with Umang Foundation for the past many years, I have received complete support at every step and this has helped me realise my dreams of getting an education and learning music."

Ajai believes the work of Umang has just begun. "I will continue giving my support to the students with disabilities and ensure that they are not denied their rights, " he says

GET IN TOUCH: To know more about Umang write to ajaisri02@yahoo.co.in

You can also call Ajai Srivastava at : +91 94180 08595

ALSO READ: Himachal Pradesh University to form policy for the disabled students

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