Anil Barjatya suffers from locomotor disability - both his legs are weak and unable to support much movement. “My parents had told me that I was not born with this disability”, recalls Anil. “However, when I was three years old, my legs went weak and I could not run and play with the other children in the village. God alone knows whether it was polio or some other disease”.
Anil comes from a poor background. His family survives on farm income, which is often irregular, and also depends on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to make a living. “All through my childhood, I rued being dependent on others and wondered if I would be able to do anything meaningful in my life”. Continuing his story, Anil added that he started preparing and selling bamboo baskets, along with running a small grocery.
Life changed for Anil in June 2015 when he enrolled for a tailoring training programme at the STEP academy, run by the Udaipur based Aajeevika Bureau – a partner of the Trusts under the “Skills Building Initiative”.
Anil was a keen learner and over the two month training period, quickly picked up tailoring skills. On completion of training, he received a sewing machine and began stitching clothes. “I now take on tailoring work at my own shop, in addition to selling groceries. At the outset, I started altering clothes or repairing damaged garments; subsequently, I started getting orders to stitch new garments,” shares Anil over a cup of tea. His monthly income has almost doubled to approximately Rs. 4,000. Anil’s success story vindicates the fact that if an individual is armed with appropriate skills, then disability cannot hinder success.