It is not easy to live one’s life without some support from others. No matter how independent you are, having someone in your corner makes things a lot easier. This becomes even more important for people who happen to be mentally or physically disabled.
While differently-abled people are capable of living their lives by themselves, it is important for the people around them to make them feel included in society. Giving these folks a chance to earn a good living is also vital for their wellbeing. This is why the Centre For Disability Studies in Thiruvananthapuram, India has started giving free horticulture lessons for the wheelchair-bound members of the community.
Empowering the Differently-abled
The program offers free education of farming to people with diabilities. Anyone who has passed the 12th grade can get into the program and study horticulture. The Centre For Disability Studies started this program to allow new members of the community to earn for themselves while also being able to provide for their families.
Studying horticulture allows people to grow produce in their own backyard, if they so wish, and then even sell it. They can use the produce in their own kitchens, of course, if they don’t wish to go through the hassle of selling their harvests. Either way, this program helps people feel empowered to steer their own lives.
A Program like No Other
The Centre has so far produced one successful batch of students, and is now looking to get more people enrolled for its second year. This program is unique because other than being completely free for everyone, it is actually offering a daily stipend to encourage new students to enroll.
An allowance is provided to each student on a daily basis to cover travel charges. The horticulture lessons start every morning at 10.30am and end at 3.30pm. During this time, students learn how to take care of plants through courses like gardening assessment and horticulture therapy. The classes are designed in a way so that the students can freely move about in their wheelchairs without feeling dependent on anyone else.
Growing Slowly, but Surely
The program is still in its early stages, but it is growing. Some students aren’t normally very excited about horticulture because it demands a lot of patience and time. As time passes, however, most folks start enjoying this rewarding process a lot more. This particular program was inspired by a very similar one that was conducted in various government schools some time ago.
Being able to give something back to society is very important for people of all stripes. It creates in them a sense of empowerment and belonging while helping people live more independent lives. Learning about growing live produce might not seem interesting to everyone, but a program that offers free horticulture lessons and covers the cost of travel as well? It's just too good to pass up. Enabling students to take hold of their own futures and grow where they are planted, especially in today’s world, where it is important to have a stable career, is something that every community should invest its time and money in.