To generate employment for their ilk
TIRUCHI: A group of handicapped persons have come together to form the first exclusive cooperative society for the disabled in the district and embarked on an ambitious effort to generate employment for as many of their ilk as possible.
The Tiruchi District Physically Disabled Welfare Cooperative Society is said to be the first of its kind outside Chennai where a similar society is functioning. The Tiruchi society came into being in October 2007 and has about 80 members.
The society has also managed to do business worth Rs.20,000 in the last four months. The society members currently engaged in knitting plastic wires for chairs, phenyl and liquid soap manufacturing, are looking forward to some government support for expanding their trade.
The society was formed after sustained attempts by its president K.C.Salethu and Cooperative Department officials.
21 business avenues
“Our objective is to create self-employment opportunities for as many disabled persons as possible. Though the disabled manage to get education with government support, job opportunities are limited. We have identified about 21 business avenues,” Mr.Salethu and P.Muthannan, vice-president, told The Hindu.
Ten per cent of the income of the members goes to the society as commission.
The business ventures identified include running STD public call offices, desk-top publishing centres, repair and manufacture of furniture, promoting music troupes, manufacture of office stationery, managing public conveniences, running canteens, web hosting, computer hardware repair, electrical and plumbing, advertisement hoarding designing and cleaning of buses.
Plea to government
“We have made a representation to the district officials and government seeking the issue of an order making it mandatory for government departments to utilise our services and purchase our products. We hope for a positive response as there is already a precedent with the Social Welfare Department issuing such an order for the benefit of the society functioning in Chennai. If an order is issued here too, we could ensure a minimum monthly income of Rs.3,000 to our members,” says Mr.Salethu. The society is seeking to enroll more members.
Special Officer of Tiruchi District Cooperative Union S. Mathivanan, who is also the coordinating officer for the society, says that there is scope for the society to prosper if more business avenues are created.
The society has been formed through their efforts over the last four to five years and the members are determined to succeed, he observes.
Support of IFFCO
The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited has also been extending its support to the society.
“We are planning to utilise in the society members in our publicity initiatives,” says D.Subramanian, Field Manager, IFFCO..0