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Help 5 deafblind micro-entrepreneurs affected by COVID-19 to revive their businesses

Campaign by Sense International India

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Deafblindness is a unique and complex disability, where a person has varying degrees of both hearing and visual impairment, which causes extreme challenges in communication, mobility and access to information. An integral component of our work is to provide vocational training and seed capital to adults with deafblindness to start small business and become micro-entrepreneurs to support their families. Over 130 deafblind adults have been supported to become micro-entrepreneurs and they have started businesses such as – Ration shop, Electric Works, Small Scale Poultry Farm, Bike and Cycle Repairing Shops, Book Shops, Cattle Rearing, Paper Plates, Bowls and Bag Making, Ironing shop, Canteen and Tiffin Service, Clothes Business etc. The lockdown and the pandemic has posed extreme difficulty and challenges for them as their customer turnover has been affected. Adults with deafblindness who use tactile sign language for communication have faced exclusion as people fear to touch them for communication. Due to the dual sensory impairment and other associated co-morbid conditions, adults with deafblindness are vulnerable because of the high risk of infection as a result of reduced immunity. We have identified 80 adults with deafblindness whose businesses and income have been negatively affected and are in urgent need of support.

We have selected 5 adults with deafblindness whose vocations/trades have been affected. We will support them for reviving/expanding their current business. We will work with them to create business development plans for a period of 6 months to make the business sustainable. Support will be provided to each deafblind micro-entrepreneur as per the business plan created to invest in the revival of their current enterprise. The support will be followed by capacity building training on restarting income generation activities. This will include training on concepts of customer communication, accounting and book-keeping and sustainability. We will link deafblind micro-entrepreneurs with various poverty alleviation government schemes and services through Panchayat Raj System. The schemes will help them to get additional support for survival of their families. This integrated approach of business plan development, capacity building training and linkages with government schemes and services will ensure that the new ventures started by deafblind micro-entrepreneurs become a sustainable option rather than a temporary relief project.

The project will serve as a lifeline for adults with deafblindness and their family members to withstand the negative impact of the COVID 19 Pandemic. The business development training will support them in making the micro-enterprises sustainable and earn income. The linkages with government schemes and services will be instrumental in the social and economic inclusion of adults with deafblindness and their families. With the support provided, 5 deafblind micro-entrepreneurs will be able to sustain their business. They have surpassed all odds, and worked hard to start earning. Apart from providing income, these micro-enterprises have played a vital role in building their confidence and helped them to be a part of the society. Hence, revival of business will help them to sustain their identities that they have built within their communities and inspire other people with disabilities as well to become independent.

Sense International India

Sense International India

Beneficiary Charity

Shivkumar Sharma

Shivkumar Sharma


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