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NGO launches scholarship scheme for youths with disabilities

The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), a leading cross-disability non-profit organisation, on Saturday announced a three-year scholarship for differently-abled youths for a career in the development sector.

The NCPEDP has joined hands with the Azim Premji Foundation for this initiative which will begin from September, the NGO said in a statement.

The scholarship — The NCPEDP-Javed Abidi Fellowship on Disability — has been launched in the silver jubilee year of NCPEDP in memory of the pioneer of disability rights movement in India and the group’s former director, late Javed Abidi.

The three-year fellowship will be offered to differently-abled people of 18-28 years of age having a keen interest in disability issues and looking to build a career in the development sector, particularly disability rights and inclusion, the statement said.

“There is a critical need for disability related data and research for not only informed and effective advocacy campaigns, but also for policymakers to make informed decisions for implementing rights-based programmes and policies that will empower people with disabilities in India.

“Therefore, NCPEDP through this fellowship intends to not only create a repository of data-driven and evidence-based research and policy papers on various disability related issues, but also envisions to produce a second line of leadership for the disability movement in India,” NCPEDP Chairperson Som Mittal said.

The fellows will receive a monthly stipend of up to 25,000 to meet necessary needs during the fellowship programme, which intends to engineer social entrepreneurship and guide fellows in contributing to an evidence-based collection of advocacy efforts, experience and effects to the cause of disability in a pluralistic manner.

“The fellowship programme will begin from September 1, 2021. The application is now open and the last date to apply is August 11, 2021. Young women with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply,” the statement said.

According to the NCPEDP, India has nearly 25 million young persons with disabilities and they are looking for equal participation and inclusion in society and the development discourse.

“Given that we are in the midst of the pandemic, people living with disabilities have been the worst affected. There is a struggle for food, access to basic healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities. The disability rights movement and inclusion of people with disabilities have been pushed back two decades!” NCPEDP Executive Director Arman Ali said.

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