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A new lease of life to differently abled youth by providing training to become self-employed in Punj

Ambuja Manovikas Kendra (AMK), an educational institution run by Ambuja Cement Foundation in Punjab’s Ropar district, has consistently improved the quality of life of differently-abled youth by helping them achieve their full potential through special education, rehabilitation and allied support services.

One of their initiatives has been to train differently abled youth under a Skill Development Rehabilitation Centre (SDRC), to successfully utilize their skills in livelihood generation and generate self-employment. The objective was to train differently abled people to conduct their daily activities inside the home, and sensitise their parents or guardians through counselling and other related inputs.

Skill development trainees were encouraged to explore their skills and make products at home. Around 25 trainees started utilizing their skills in three trades—artificial jewellery, including decorative items and rakhies and pottery products. These trainees made around 8,500 rakhis for Raksha bandhan and 3,200 diyas for Diwali. They made a profit of around Rs 66,000 by selling their products.

AMK also conducted meetings with the parents of rehabilitated trainees and discussed a business development plan, which is currently put into action.

Neeraj Akhoury, CEO India Holcim and MD & CEO of Ambuja Cements Ltd., said, “This CSR initiative has aimed to improve the quality of life of differently-abled children and empower them with skills that make them independent and self-reliant. Through Ambuja Manovikas Kendra, we have always tried to help people to reach their full potential in life. Our staff is highly committed and all our students who are excelling in their fields are inspiring and have made us proud over and over again.”

Paramjit Kaur, who is one of the beneficiaries of the training programme, graduated from the artificial jewellery making unit. She worked hard during the pandemic, making rakhis and bracelets from home. In all, she has sold rakhis worth Rs 17,245. Alongside, she has also passed her secondary exams under National Institute of Open Schooling.

Paramjit’s journey is among the many success stories of successful engagement and transformation of differently abled youth as a part of their self-employment at home. They have become earning members of their family and their skills are being channelised through the AMK’s Business Development Plan. They have set their next targets of making rakhis, bracelets and diyas.

Pearl Tiwari, Director and CEO, Ambuja Cement Foundation, said, “AMK through its facility has empowered differently abled young people to realize their capabilities and achieve the unimaginable in their lives. All credit goes to the trainees, who despite their challenges have given their best & to their parents for the unstinted support to these youngsters and to our own very commitment team on the ground who make this remarkable feat possible.”

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