My name is Shaik Muntaz. I live in Chirala, Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh. I am the 4th
child of my parents. I have 3 elder sisters and one younger brother. My mother died recently. My father is quite old and is unable to work. All my sisters are married and living separately. My brother and his family live with us.
When my eldest sister died after giving birth to 2 daughters, I decided to take care of her children. I did not marry because of my severe disability. Both my lower limbs are weak and thin. I crawl with the support of my left arm. I passed my 10th
standard from a formal school. I pursued my B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) from Ambedkar University through the distance education programme. I felt doubly discriminated – because of my gender and my disability. But I was determined to earn my own living. I decided to start a small shop to earn my livelihood.
Then LCDDP (Leonard Cheshire Disability Development Programme) came into my life. During their survey the LRC (Livelihood Resource Centre) team visited my home. The team counseled me. They assessed my needs and skills. I told them I wanted to be self-dependent. I wanted to earn my own bread I said.
LCDDP-LRC team, which receives the support of EUIL (European Union India Livelihoods) project, helped me by:
- Referring me to the Andhra Pradesh Disability Department so I would get a tricycle which would aid my mobility.
- Attending their awareness trainings to gain knowledge on disability welfare activities implemented by the government department
- Undergoing a tailoring course so I could do hand work
- Providing me seed money support to start a petty shop at my home where I can sell snacks, chocolates, biscuits, and eatables for children
Now I am able to earn some income through my shop sales which help to support my family. My family members help me to run the petty shop successfully. I also take tuitions for children. I am able to earn around Rs.150 per day.
Now the local village women have asked me to keep tailoring items in the shop. I have started reinvesting my profits to equip my shop with threads, needles, buttons and lining cloth as there is a demand for it.
As a result of the EUIL project I am able to earn a livelihood today and look after my sister’s children. I am confident and self-assured. I am grateful to EUIL, LCDDP LRC for all their support.
The EUIL project was started in January 2016 with the aim of providing livelihood and employment to 5000 people with disabilities. The project is being implemented in Delhi, and in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It works through 5 project partners. LCDDP in Andhra Pradesh is one.