:–  A 3-day National Workshop on “Economic Empowerment of Disabled Farmers through Skill Development and Self Help Groups in India” organized at Conference Room, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi on 23rd to 25th March 2018
under the auspices of the Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies-SDRS (New Delhi) got concluded this afternoon with adoption of Ten-Point Charter of Demands. Among the major recommendations incorporating Ten-Point Charter of Demands include promotion of R & D activities for innovation of new tools and techniques, simplification of the procedure of loans, providing land to disabled farmers, training to disabled farmers through national skill development corporation, provision of financial support to needy disabled farmers for procuring state-of-the art newly innovated assistive devices through PSUs/PSBs under CSR activities and creation of Disability Unit at ICAR/DARE/GOI. The programme was inaugurated on 23rd March 2018 by Shri Kuldip Nayar (Hon’ble Ex-MP Rajya Sabha & Noted Journalist); who in his inaugural address, underlined the necessity of sensitizing the politicians towards giving representations to the persons with disabilities in regard to higher positions of the Government of India and State Governments–including Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. He also released a thematic Souvenir on the occasion. Shri Suresh Prabhu (Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry), who was to inaugurate the programme, could not grace the occasion because of last minute change in his schedule. However, he sent his video message which was displayed to the gathering. Delivering keynote address on the occasion, Dr S. D. Kulkarni (noted Agricultural Scientist, ICAR- CIAE, Bhopal) called upon the need to take recourse to latest technology for enhancing skill development of disabled farmers for facilitating their sustainable development in agri-business related activities. The inaugural session was chaired by Dr P. R. Ramanujam (Professor STRIDE & Former Pro-VC, IGNOU, New Delhi), who emphasized the imperativeness of economic empowerment of disabled farmers through skill development and self- help groups in Indian Context. The session began with an encapsulated opening and welcome remarks by JNU’s expert on Disability Studies and Honorary President, Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies Dr G. N. Karna; who espoused for changing the mind sets of civil society for mainstriming persons with disabilities into farming and agri-business activities. Among others who spoke on the occasion include Dr Sanjay Bhayana (Associate Professor & Head, Department of Food Business Management and Entrepreneurship Development, NIFTEM, Sonepat) and Dr S. N. Prasad(Associate Professor in CES/SIS/JNU). One minute silence was also observed during the inauguration in memory of three distinguished figures (Professor Stephen Hawking, Mr Javed Abidi & Mr Suresh Prasad), who contributed significantly in their disability sector and passed away recently. The inaugural session was followed by three technical and valedictory sessions on the next day (i.e. 24th March 2018) where papers were presented/ read by (on behalf of) a galaxy of noted experts and agricultural scientists (including Dr Adarsh Kumar, Dr R. Ramar , Dr R. K. Sarin, Dr Reeta Bagchi, Dr V. Vijaya Lakshmi and Dr S. N. Malakar). The technical sessions were followed by valedictory session with valedictory address by noted economist Dr G. K. Arora (Principal Dr B. R. Ambedkar College, DU). In his valedictory address Dr Arora highlighted elaborately about sustainable and inclusive development of persons with disabilities and urged the society to adopt positive attitude towards harnessing the capabilities of persons with disabilities in farming related activities. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr G. N. Karna (Honorary President, SDRS & Convenor, National Workshop). The programme was partly sponsored and supported by NABARD, ICAR/DARE/GOI, Bank of Maharashtra and Engineers India Limited.


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