employment avenues

Approach

The Training and Employment activity has a dual mission. It serves to train individuals with disabilities so that they may live independent and productive lives. Simultaneously, by providing employment to these individuals we also hope to show that it is possible for a non-profit organization to build a self-sustaining center by treating it as a business.

Production Center

With the Trash-2-Cash program, the VTC receives waste materials, such as fabric ends, etc., from businesses for free. Then, at the production center these materials are transformed into useful, marketable products. The money made from this business funds the center so that the students may live and work in a comfortable environment. This independence provides a valuable degree of stability for the center.

The Trash-2-Cash program is supported by the Department of Environment, Delhi Government.

The products made are:
Weaving: durries, bags, stoles, shawls and place settings
Paper making: Handmade paper in manufactured in several qualities. The craft paper is used for making various products like folders, envelopes, greeting cards and notepads. Acid-free art quality paper is also distributed and sold to artists of all calibers and also feeds our innovative Art for Prabhat fund raising work.
Color and Dyes: Natural dyes, holi color, potpourri and fiber for paper from flowers - these flowers are collected from local temples.
Utilities: recycle waste to produce items of utility like coasters from discarded floppies, folders from audio tapes and mats, evening pouches and fashion accessories from scrap materials donated by export houses etc.
Other items:
Candles and Diyas: candles and diyas of many hues in decorative packages are sold around Diwali.
These products are then marketed accordingly.

Avacayam Project:
Livelihood Scheme for Young Adults with Mental Retardation

Objectives:

Provide livelihood to children and young adults with mental retardation
Contribute to the community - Help play a safe Holi
Contribute to a greening of the Environment - Keep the waters of the Yamuna clean)
   

The Four-phased Approach

Phase I: Creating awareness

Spreading the word about the Avacayam Project
Involvement of hotels and temples in disposing waste flowers in an environmentally friendly manner
Providing the alternative of recycling these into non-toxic Holi colors as a method of disposal.
Phase II: Increasing scope
Involving all special schools and unemployed young adults from this population in this activity.
Hotels (in keeping with the principle of their CSR policy), temples and special institutions work together in the disposal and recycling process
Phase III: Creating linkages
Hotels directly employ young adults with mental retardation to recycle the waste flowers.
Temples directly hand over flowers each day to special schools.
SFCD partners with hotels to process dried petals into Holi-color
SFCD (with the support of the Department of Environment, Delhi Government) buys back each kg of dried petals from the school at Rs. 100 per kg, hence assisting in providing direct employment to mentally retarded young adults.
Phase IV: Sustaining involvement
It is planned that by the middle of next year, young adults (and their parents) will join hands in self-help group mode to take the work forward to achieve self-sufficiency.
  Till date about 800 persons have joined the program.

Impact Analysis in terms of Benefits:
Provide positive visibility to a group of persons hitherto labeled as valueless and burdensome by their involvement in mainstream programs.
Encourage companies to adopt programs involving persons with mental retardation for the value it brings to their CSR Programs.
Reduction in environmental pollution by reducing disposal of waste and pollutants in the atmosphere.
Providing the community with an alternative to the disposal of temple flowers through the traditional Jal Pravah method that has the severe potential of polluting river banks.
Conversion of waste flowers into non-toxic Holi colors, thus reducing the adverse and disabling effects of the popular industrial colors.
Opportunity of scaling this program to an All-India level and thereby exponentially increasing benefit and impact.

Because of this expansion, the Society for Child Development now includes a variety of programs and initiatives to promote the rights of persons with disabilities from several angles.

Visual presentation

Where have all the flowers gone: The Film

A short documentary produced and directed by the SFCD on the condition of the river Yamuna and the efforts being made by a small group of young adults with mental retardation to recycle flowers to save the river from further degradation.

Independent Living

Approach
Persons with mental disabilities are ordinary people who wish to lead ordinary lives and be included, recognized and loved. The Independent Living initiative is a step in this direction. Through its various mandates it seeks to empower persons with mental disabilities with self-respect and self-confidence that are a natural corollary to being independent in any manner possible. The initiative does not advocate living away from families or in isolation, in fact its very genesis lies in the need to reinstate the person into the family as an independent individual, whose presence is viewed as a value rather than a burden.

In addition, parents are given a break from caring. Such a break can provide time for themselves and their partners, and time to spend with their other children. Services that provide short term breaks can reduce mothers' stress, but many families have problems obtaining appropriate services. The Independent Living initiative has been visualized to provide alternatives to these issues as well.