The National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) and APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for conducting an innovative entrepreneurial development training project for the differently-abled youth in the state.
Minister for Social Justice and Higher Education Dr R. Bindu inaugurated the MoU signing ceremony at the NISH campus at Akkulam here, to take forward the collaboration for the “Innovation by Youth with Disabilities” (I-YwD) project.
Executive Director of NISH and Director of Social Justice Department, M Anjana, and the representatives of 15 colleges affiliated to KTU signed the MoU in the presence of KTU Vice Chancellor Dr Rajasree M S. These 15 colleges will be implementing the project.
Launched by Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) in 2019, I-YwD project is a platform for preparing the differently-abled youth to develop their innovative ideas into entrepreneurial activities and equip them to contribute for the welfare of the society.
In her address, Dr Bindu said technical education institutions can contribute immensely to the rehabilitation of the differently-abled.
Noting that the government’s mission is to transform all campuses to disabled-friendly, the Minister said I-YwD project will also enable to develop barrier-free campuses with basic infrastructure for people with disabilities.
“We have to tap the entrepreneurial skills of the differently-abled by conducting skill enhancement and training programmes for them. They can become job creators and providers like their peers, who are aspiring to become entrepreneurs after finishing colleges,” she added.
Anjana, who presided over the function, said I-YwD project is a vital step in providing the right dignity and consideration for the differently-abled, which is the responsibility of all.
Elaborating on the project, she said, “Initially, about 20 people in the age group of 15-40 will be given training and applications will be invited in August-September. Each participant will be given support for three years. First year, they will get training, mentoring and skill development programmes.”
Participants will receive training to identify a problem in the society they wish to solve and then they have to prepare a design for the solution, Ms Anjana added.
Dr Rajasree exuded confidence that I-YwD project will help the differently-abled receive support and gain confidence in taking responsibilities both in professional as well as personal life.
The 15 colleges that are part of the I-YwD Project are Carmel College of Engineering and Technology, Punnapra, Alappuzha; Vidya Academy of Science and Technology, Kaipparambu, Thrissur; Valia Koonambaikulathamma College of Engineering & technology, Chavarcode, Parippally; TKM College of Engineering, Karikode, Peroor; Muthoot Institute of Technology and Science, Varikoli,Ernakulam; Government College of Engineering, Munnar; Christ College of Engineering, Irinjalakuda, Thrissur; Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, Nalanchira, Thiruvananthapuram; Federal Institute of Science and Technology, Angamaly; KMEA Engineering College, Aluva; Vidya Academy of Science and Technology, Kilimanoor; Mar Athanasius College of Engineering, Kothamangalam; MET’s School of Engineering, Kuruvilassery; MGM College of Engineering and Technology, Piravom; and College of Engineering, Perumon, Kollam.
I-YwD Project Director Dr Daisy Sebastian welcomed the gathering. Syndicate members of the university Dr Jamuna B and Adv. I Saju; and I-YwD Project Coordinator Avinash, also spoke.
As part of the agreement, I-YwD members can avail infrastructure facilities, guidance of expert mentors and support from student buddy of engineering colleges under the Technological University. NISH will also provide expert advice and awareness related to the various aspects of disability, accessibility and inclusion to colleges.