January 2017

Overcoming disability through skilling

Anil Barjatya’s mobility and earning potential was hindered by his weak legs. Tailoring training by Aajeevika Bureau in Udaipur helped him realise that disability cannot stop success

Anil Barjatya suffers from locomotor disability - both his legs are weak and unable to support much movement. “My parents had told me that I was not born with this disability”, recalls Anil. “However, when I was three years old, my legs went  weak  and  I  could  not  run  and  play  with  the  other children  in  the  village.  God  alone  knows  whether  it  was  polio or some other disease”.

Anil comes from a poor background. His family survives on   farm   income,   which   is   often   irregular,   and   also depends  on  the  Mahatma  Gandhi  National  Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to make a living. “All through my childhood, I rued being dependent on others and wondered if I would be able to do anything meaningful in my life”. Continuing his story, Anil added that  he  started  preparing  and  selling  bamboo  baskets,  along with running a small grocery.

Life changed for Anil in June 2015 when he enrolled for a tailoring training programme at the STEP academy, run by the Udaipur based Aajeevika Bureau – a partner of the Trusts under the “Skills Building Initiative”.

Anil was a keen learner and over the two month training period, quickly picked up tailoring skills. On completion of  training,  he  received  a  sewing  machine  and  began  stitching  clothes.    “I  now  take  on  tailoring  work  at  my  own shop, in addition to selling groceries. At the outset, I started altering clothes or repairing damaged garments; subsequently,  I  started  getting  orders  to  stitch  new  garments,” shares Anil over a cup of tea. His monthly income has almost doubled to approximately Rs. 4,000. Anil’s  success  story  vindicates  the  fact  that  if  an individual is armed with appropriate skills, then disability cannot hinder success.