By Niharika and Amruthavarshini
The moment you step into the Amogh Trust Centre at BTM Layout, Bangalore, you are greeted with a sign that says ‘Ability, Not Disability’, which succinctly sums up the core principle of Amogh. Nearly 60 trainees (differently abled adults) are employed here. Upon enrollment into the trust, the strengths of each trainee are assessed. Based on this assessment, they are allotted roles that cater to their strengths. Amogh sells various products under their ‘Project Ananya’, such as paper bags, jewellery, chocolates, and shawls, to name a few. Now, in view of upcoming Diwali festivity, they have also started selling hand painted diyas and gift hampers. All of these products are eco-friendly and beautifully handcrafted by the team at Amogh. The team working here is diverse, highly skilled and specialised. They are split into smaller sub-teams, which each work on a product. Each team member plays a specific role and is overseen by the trainer. For instance, paper bead jewellery making involves the trainer demonstrating the process, followed by which the trainees take it up and start assembling the various pieces. The artistic abilities of the trainees flourish here as they string together colourful patterns. The trainer checks the ‘finish’ or the quality of the final product. After completing the task, another team of trainees packages the products. This is followed by weighing all the products. Each step offers opportunities for quality checks, and this combined team effort makes the products made at Amogh stand out from the rest.
Anytime you purchase a product from Amogh, you positively impact this entire chain of trainees. By looking past a trainee’s disabilities and instead focusing on their strengths, the trust provides them with a livelihood. Indeed, the trainees’ parents are overjoyed that their son or daughter is now earning a stable income. A prospect they once thought was impossible. By buying from Amogh, you contribute to the lives of differently-abled adults and their parents and families. The success of a livelihood centre for persons with disabilities (PWDs), like Amogh, directly influences the larger community of PWDs.
There is a lot of stigma surrounding PwDs, as they are always perceived as people who cannot work as efficiently as neurotypical individuals. However, this is untrue. PwDs can collaborate in teams to make beautiful products, as is evident here. The products made at Amogh bring to the foray the incredible artistic talents of the trainees. Their patience and impeccable attention to detail make the products unique and attractive. Job opportunities for PWDs add meaning to their lives and give them a sense of equality, inclusivity and responsibility. Jobs which nurture their talent can boost their confidence as well. Additionally, they can hone their intrapersonal, interpersonal, physical and cognitive skills, thus helping them live dignified lives.
PWDs are resourceful individuals whose abilities have not yet been understood. Merely assessing them based on their disabilities would be a disservice to their talents and strengths. Every PWD is unique, and in the grand scheme of things, everyone’s contributions make the world more beautiful. If given a chance, their positive traits help them be some of the best working hands available in our country. By buying from Amogh, you are moving a step closer to helping PWDs live fulfilling lives everywhere.