Making a difference in the lives of those who are special to us
It is not one’s disability that counts; it is his abilities that matter. Realising the true relevance of these words and believing in the vision that there is indeed a way to create a world of equal opportunities for the disabled, the non-profit organisation Society for Child Development (SFCD) was founded in Delhi, in 1992. This group – comprising active volunteers and dedicated social workers – currently develops several programmes and initiatives to make their dream a reality. The idea behind the genesis of SFCD was to address the dual issue of quality education and life-skill training for kids with intellectual disability.
When the students of SFCD’s special school for children with learning difficulties – Prabhat – matured into adults, the need for establishing an economically viable vocational facility became an inevitable necessity. With this aim in mind, the founders decided on embarking on a mission to create a self-sustainable employment division. Thus began the genesis of two of their programmes – Trash-to-Cash and Avacayam.
The Trash-to-Cash Employment Programme utilises discarded and unused items from households, offices, and manufacturing units – and transforms them into handcrafted items for personal, household, and office use. The unit’s group of 36 adults – with intellectual disability – craft basic raw materials such as fabric, sheets of paper, and dried petals. These are then converted by the production team – comprising 59 persons with hearing, physical, and visual impairment – into final products such as bags, coasters, folders, and conference items. The core of this segment also involves HIV-infected women who are trained on-the-job. The group includes 25% of able, but educationally and economically deprived individuals.
SFCD’s second initiative is Avacayam – the word in Sanskrit means gathering flowers. This is yet another platform to generate income for individuals with disability while promoting environmental conservation. Its constituting members collect discarded flowers from temples and hotels – which otherwise would have been thrown into rivers and seas – and then convert these into vibrant Holi gulal, rangoli colours, and agarbatti (incense sticks).
With a wide range including incense sticks, holi colours, rangoli colours, jute bags, pen stands, pens, CDs, coasters, files, and folders, SFCD is an acclaimed name in promoting a sustainable environment. Each of their items is eco-friendly and recycled. Honoured by the coveted Sasakawa Award for Disability (ESCAP), they contribute to the society in a beautiful way.