New initiative for the disabled

Parul Sharma

‘Svavalamban’ imparts entrepreneurial skills through workshops

“It is like an, earn while you learn, scheme”

NEW DELHI: Adhering to its credo of “Leadership with Social Responsibility”, Lady Shri Ram College for Women has set up a centre for enhancing self-worth through self-reliance for students facing any kind of handicap, social or physical.

Inculcating a sense of social responsibility through reflection, engagement, empowerment and outreach, the college recently set up “Svavalamban” to support such students. “The centre supports students with visual impairment. We have got software installed in the computer for our visually impaired learners. ‘Svavalamban’ also imparts entrepreneurial skills to students through workshops on chocolate-making, art and craft materials, basket-making and candle-making,” said Dr. Kanika Khandelwal, media coordinator of the college.

Apart from providing facilities for physically challenged students, “Svavlamban” also offers them various avenues for future employment. “It is like an ‘earn while you learn’ scheme for students. They will get some expertise in an area that interests them and also get to earn money at the same time. It is also a big confidence-boosting measure,” she added. “Svavlamban” has been set up under the college’s Reaffirming Equity Access Capacity and Humanism (REACH) programme. As an initiative, REACH was created at the college with support from the Foundation for Academic Excellence and Access (FAEA).

“REACH works as a change agent that empowers students with certain social and economic disadvantages by creating access and opportunities for them,” explained Dr. Khandelwal.Under the REACH initiative, the college holds free-of-cost workshops for its students like English Speaking, Personality Development and Computer Literacy. The college invites guest faculty to handle these workshops while college students serve as REACH coordinators. They are provided “handsome” financial scholarships and field trips are arranged for students attending these workshops.

‘Develop confidence’

“Being girl children from a particular background, they carry a certain baggage with them. Without being patronising or elitist and through various kinds of role-play, we attempt to make them feel confident about their being women,” added Dr. Khandelwal.