By Digital Empowerment Foundation
Published on: March 17, 2023
There is always enough work for everyone in the society to lead a decent life but only if enough interest is shown in creating them and allocating them according to the skill set, abilities and requirements.
The different abilities of persons with disabilities often fade away at a distance as the stark realities of the difficulties are thrust upon them on a day to day basis by the society that is accustomed to function in a certain way, hard wired to serve the ‘norm’. Digital Empowerment Foundation has ensured to include and empower those who fall off the norm by focussing on their abilities. Samarth SoochnaPreneur program has been able to reach out to many such people across the country who are now leading a respectful life on their own terms.
Mehbub Ali is a 37-year-old differently abled man from Malda district of West Bengal. He is the sole breadwinner of his family consisting of six members. With two master’s degrees, he leaves his village early in the morning to travel 20 kilometres by bus to sell toys. Apart from this being extremely uncomfortable for a person whose lower limbs are not functional, he was not able to meet the financial needs of his family.
Mehbub came across the Digital Empowerment Foundation and received a printer and a desktop through the Digital Daan program using which he opened a centre in his village. He started providing photocopy services, payment of electricity bills, booking railway tickets, bank correspondence and other digital services to the people at the centre.
He recalls that prior to this, people from his village mocked him for his situation where he had to sell toys in spite of having good academic qualifications. His attempts to clear some of the competitive exams were also futile. Now, he is able to make a living off the services he provides to his community which has made the life of many people from the village easy as they do not have to travel far to get their work done. Motivated by his progress, he has also started digital literacy classes for the village students. He is happy that he lives a dignified life and is respected for his work in the village.