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Serving the Disabled with SHGs and Assistive Technologies

Anuj Sheopuri1 and Anita Sheopuri2

1Associate Professor, Department of Management, BIRT, Bhopal, M.P., INDIA. 2Assistant Professor, Department of Management, VNS Business School, Bhopal, M.P., INDIA.

ABSTRACT

Farming is a difficult and dangerous occupation. When disability becomes a obefactor in the agricultural workplace both the difficulty and danger increase markedly. This does not mean that a career in agriculture is automatically no longer an option for the person with a disability but that specialist skills and services need to be applied to assess the realities and viability of farming with a disability and ensure an accessible and safe working environment. Estimating the prevalence of disability in India has been hampered by complex and multiple factors. The World Bankís (2007) study shows that the rural disabled have lower access to health care, not only due to inadequate system of disability identification and certification, but also because of poor awareness about disability issues. People with disabilities in rural areas are largely excluded from mainstream poverty alleviation programmes due to attitudinal and physical barriers. Besides, in a situation where a family is poor and dependent on farming, children with disabilities often neglected because, the family believes that it is not worth educating them. Discrimination, or treating people unfairly because of prejudice, can make the lives of people with disabilities very difficult. Despite having the same hopes and ambitions as non-disabled persons, they encounter barriers that make it much harder for them to succeed. The current paper highlights the challenges that are especially evident with those individuals with a disability involved in agriculture. The main highlight of the paper is the assistive technologies needed for disabled farmers. In India, many research studies reveals that dangerous machines causes accidents in farming due to operatorís attitude, outdated machinery and lack of maintenance, etc. Assistive technology includes any kind of device, modification, or service that will help a person with a disability work and live more independently. The use of assistive technology can simplify tasks that need to be completed, create efficiency in labourintensive work processes, and reduce fatigue. Finally, the authors concluded with certain suggestions in favour of the disabled farmers such as; need for change in the attitudes of people towards disabled individuals, encouraging self help-organizations and self reliance among disabled farmers, to be increased to improve the quality of life, rehabilitation services etc.

Keywords :Disability, Accidents, Self Help Groups, and Assistive Technology.