A seminar on ‘Exploring Livelihood Prospects for PwDs in Rural India’ was delivered by Dr. Jitender Aggarwal at the MSSRF premises on July 18, 2019. Dr. Jitender Aggarwal is the founder & CEO of Sarthak Educational Trust, a civil society organisation working on the principle of empowering the persons with disability. Before starting Sarthak Dr. Jitender Aggarwal practiced as dental surgeon for six years. In 2004 Dr. Aggarwal lost his central vision due to macular degeneration and thus had to discontinue his practice. During this period he realized dependency as the biggest trauma a person with disability (PwD) faces. Thus, he envisioned a platform where this dependency can be cured.
One must have heard about Astavakra, equally known for reflection of intellect and wisdom- in the form of Astavakra Gita - and deformity of all 8 limbs (feet, knees, hand, chest, and head). This combination of extreme physical deformity and intellectual steadiness throws a very clear message that physical structure may cause challenges, may make you struggle for day to day tasks, but it has nothing to do with defining your potential. The only factor that defines one’s potential is his/her perception of self. Dr. Jitender Aggarwal spoke on ‘Exploring Livelihood Prospects for PwDs in Rural India’ detailing on Sarthak guiding forces, programme & services, current scenario of the livelihood generation for PwDs in rural India and some success stories of Sarthak Educational Trust, and the scope for similar action in Tamil Nadu.