While most of the focus has been on those who are in the mainstream, efforts must be made to support those with disabilities and who have been innovating too.
By Prashant Agarwal,
COVID-19 has been on a surge ever since two years which has built in multiple opportunities for various sectors and has disrupted the ecological balance. However, with the ever-increasing challenges, the Pandemic has given rise to smaller and newer innovative enterprises that have thrived to offer sectors across the globe better products and services. While the frontline workers have been the heroes, and have been applauded, however, we must not forget the ones who have been working endlessly to bring in innovative products to serve humanity with a cause. While most of the focus has been on those who are in the mainstream, efforts must be made to support those with disabilities and who have been innovating too.
The ‘DIVYANGJAN SWAVALAMBAN YOJANA’ scheme has been initiated by the Government. The scheme offers credit on a concession basis for individuals with disabilities as per the PwD Act of 2016 (with amendments). The scheme was launched to offer overall empowerment by offering loans on concession. As many organisations have been coming forward to contribute to the PM Relief fund for COVID-19 efforts must be made by various institutions to initiate and implement activities that would empower the differently-abled and also support their ventures.
Boot Camps: Boot camps are a great platform for those with innovative ideas who would like to seek support to promote their products/ services. Corporates and Governments must create a platform to offer processing help to those who are differently-abled and guide them through promoting their businesses. This also allows them to seek funding on their projects through Venture Capitalists.
Entrepreneurship: While most of the organisations do promote building incubation centres and offer help to budding entrepreneurs within the organisation, Corporates and other NGOs and institutions must come forward to promote innovations made by the differently-abled. Added incentives must be given to those with disabilities having innovative ideas to boost the business of any organisation.
Marketing Programs through the Internet: Through every means the World Wide Web has taken the whole world by a storm and so have businesses adopted online platforms. Marketing programs such as SEO management and SEM have become imperative for one and all to learn. Organisations, Governments and Institutions have begun to introduce programs either Masters or short term certificate programs which are for shorter tenures. People who are physically challenged can enrol for Digital Marketing programs that hold relevance and also be able to market their products on a large platform.
Group Funding: Group funding is a great platform through which entrepreneurs can receive a good fund or equity to implement and support their business. An idea can be implemented where a group or a consortium of small scale organisations can rope in businesses to support smaller businesses or those who have just begun their journeys. Differently-abled people doing their existing businesses must look forward to such models to support and empower those who are differently abled.
The whole world has come to a standstill only due to COVID-19. Promotion and development of new models and adoption of these can prove to be challenging yet beneficial for the differently-abled.
(The author is President of Narayan Seva Sansthan. NSS is a non-profit organization serving differently-abled and underprivileged individuals. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)