Pakiraswamy, a 22 year old youth from Ulavathi village, Bellary, was born with impaired vision in his left eye. With much difficulty he had completed his matriculation and had plans to work and support his parents. But, owing to poor vision, he could not earn a steady income and was mostly dependent on his family. Pakiraswamy had a will to improve his means of livelihood and not just remain as a marginal construction labourer. Upon hearing about the special workshop organised by Myrada SDTT project, he immediately enrolled himself for it.
A total of 25 differently abled persons attended the four day (02-07-2014 to 05-07-2014) entrepreneurship workshop conducted by SDTT-MYRADA in collaboration with I-Create. The objective of the workshop was to change the mind sets of the disabled persons towards their entrepreneurship capabilities and develop pragmatic business plans. Apart from several team activities focusing on developing entrepreneurship skills, successful entrepreneurs from disadvantaged groups were invited to speak about their personal experiences. Pakiraswamy actively participated and says he found it very encouraging and informative. All participants had prepared business plans which were judged by the local bank manager, PragathiGrameen Bank, H. Bommanahalli. Mr. Pakiraswamy had also prepared an elaborate plan which he intended to put into action after reaching his village.

Aspiring Entrepreneurship Workshop, Danapur Training Centre, Bellary                      02-07-2014 to 05-07-2014

Aspiring Entrepreneurship Workshop, Danapur Training Centre, Bellary
02-07-2014 to 05-07-2014

Pakiraswamy receiving AEW completion                     certificate

Pakiraswamy receiving AEW completion certificate

Aspiring Entrepreneurship Workshop, Pakiraswamy receiving AEW completion
Danapur Training Centre, Bellary certificate
02-07-2014 to 05-07-2014

Myrada field staff, led by outreach worker Nagaraju, provided constant support to Pakiraswamy and other participants to prepare feasible business plans. With their help, he submitted an application to the SC/ST Corporation on 19.07.2014 (under GoK scheme) for financial support to take up income generation programme (petty business). The idea of establishing his own petty shop was discussed with family members and all members expressed their co-operation. The family members expected ST/SC Corporation to give financial support of Rs One lakh (60% as grant and 40% as loan) to establish own business. But the corporation informed that the money will be provided only after the approval of the application. The family members arranged a capital of Rs. 20,000/- to invest in the business. Pakiraswamy procured all the necessary items after doing a quick survey of the village demands from a nearby town and on 1st of August, 2014 successfully opened a kirana shop near his home.

Pakiraswamy’sKirana Shop in Ulavathi Village

Pakiraswamy’sKirana Shop in Ulavathi Village

His shop received a great response from the villagers bringing him an average daily income of Rs 400. It is a dream-come-true for Pakiraswamy who always wanted to be independent and he now has a sense of pride of supporting his parents. He is keen to further improvise his shop and expects additional support from the SC/ST Corporation. Pakiraswamy says “the topics taught during the workshop at training centre are coming to use in my business and I am thankful to Myrada and SDTT project for all the motivation and guidance that made an entrepreneur out of a blind person”.

As many as 5 disabled persons in Bellary have applied for SC/ST corporation schemes and are now in the process of executing their business plans.Other disabled persons are also finalising their business plans with constant support from I Create and SDTT-MYRADA project. Myrada plans to conduct many more such trainings in Bellary and other SDTT project districts.