This umbrella-making initiative in Kerala shelters over 50 differently-abled persons from being jobless.
Two years ago, 30-year-old Riyaz E from Thiruvananthapuram lost his ability to walk after an accident. The initiative, ‘Umbrella by Differently-Abled’ has given people like Riyaz a way of making a living” I was facing a lot of difficulties after the accident. My friend introduced me to this. Now I’m making and selling umbrellas for a living. This initiative provides me a lot of hope.”
What started as a WhatsApp group in 2016 to help the differently-abled has turned into a successful vocation for many. After the group started their own Facebook page in 2018, many NGOs and schools started placing bulk orders. They produce the product using umbrella-making kits couriering the finished products to clients. The umbrellas cost between Rs 300 to Rs 350.
Another member of the group, Soffimol, who has polio, made umbrellas and mats for a living but found few buyers before this.”After joining this group I’m getting a lot of orders. I’m happy that people are coming forward to help. ”
Suresh P from Palakkad became wheelchair-bound after he met with an accident six years back “Trapped in a four-wall room often we get depressed. But this has not only given us a living but happiness too.”Suresh is hoping for a respite from the scorching summer and expecting a good rainfall in this monsoon. To shelter people from the rains, more of such colourful umbrellas are going to come.