For the last seven to eight years, members of the National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped, India (NASEOH) have been creating eco-friendly Ganesh idols. The Chembur-based NGO helps its specially-abled members not only to create idols, but also to market these, thus enabling them to earn too.
At least four-five students at NASEOH can make complete idols without any help. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
This year too, the NGO has started the process of creating the idols for the festival that will be celebrated in mid-September. “Last year, we sold between 70 to 80 idols. There are about 15 students in our pottery and ceramics course, of which four or five are at a stage where they can make a complete idol by themselves. The rest help in creating the idols. We start early in the year as they take a long time to make these idols, and we can’t push them beyond a point.
We also opt for a head start to get prepared and stock up for orders that might come our way,” informs Yogendra Shetty, Director General at NASEOH.
“Creating these idols gives them immense satisfaction and confidence comes from the knowledge that people are buying what they created,” he explains. The clay idols are eco-friendly and are painted with natural colours. They are created in two sizes — one foot (Rs 750) and one-and-a-half foot (Rs 1,250).
NASEOH has about ten courses that offers training in areas such as tailoring, embroidery, bakery, electronic assembly and computer activities, among others. One can buy products from each of these divisions.
“Most people who join can be with us for a maximum of four years depending on their type of disability. They may not be well-educated but may show interest in some of the skills that we offer to teach.
We discuss their progress regularly with parents, trainers, social workers, and care givers,” summarises Shetty.
At: NASEOH India, Postal Colony, Chembur.
Log on to: www.naseoh.org