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For Me and Many More – One Small Step Led to Foundation of Prosperity

I am Fatehsingh and I was born in rural, poor household of Madhya Pradesh. With family having little to survive on, my mother could not have proper nutrition during her pregnancy which led to my Orthopaedic Impairment. My parents were dependent upon farming and labour work to sustain themselves and 3 children.

As far as I recall, everyone in society reminded me that I am disabled and have absolutely no worth. I can’t do anything, neither I can contribute into anything. I was matter of fun for everyone. Memories of my neglect are so strongly engrained in my personality that I could not think of any possibility apart from being a burden, and problem for my family. Even with all this, I still completed my 10th standard as education was my only hope. Yet, the society would not see my abilities. My education, my knowledge, my aspirations made no change in their attitude. All people could see was that I am disabled, and their prejudices made sure that my neglect continued in every sphere of life.

However, one organisation was there who did see my abilities. When I joined Naman as a volunteer, I was provided with orientation about equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. The training that I received transformed me into a self-respecting, independent human being. Naman not only provided skill training, I was also supported with loan to start my own work. Organic Farming was most appropriate choice I could make since I am a farmer. With training in organic manure, and compost preparation, I not only grew pesticide free crops, I could also reduce my input cost.

I am also trained in functioning of Self-Help Groups and how they have potential to transform an entire community. I am spreading this knowledge among other farmers and encouraging them to be part of such groups. Naman also helped me to assess Livelihood Baskets and develop business plan to improve the family income. As a result, I could evaluate my long-term needs, receive a loan of Rs. 30,000 for farming and animal husbandry to improve my income sources. My income has increased to Rs. 72,000 per year which is more than double from what we could manage before.

With Naman’s work, I am a respected individual in community. I have not only transformed my life but have motivated many others to follow the same path. My community treats me as a role model and reminds each other that if a person with disability could reach this level, everyone can, provided an individual receives an opportunity and support.

I now look forward to starting a milk business. I have learnt that with more choices of earning, more secure will be my future. I am leading from the front and hope to take along many other persons with disabilities on a path of prosperity and equality.