New Delhi: Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot will inaugurate the week long Exhibition-cum-Fair “EKAM Fest” organised by National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC) under M/o Social Justice & Empowerment tomorrow evening at State Emporia Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi-1 . Union Minister for RT&H and MEME Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari and Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani will grace the occasion. Ministers of State for SJ&E Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Shri Rattan Lal Kataria and Shri Ramdas Athawale will also be present.
EKAM Fest is an effort for promoting entrepreneurship and knowledge among Divyangjan community, generating awareness among society about potentialities of PwDs & providing a major marketing opportunity to PwDs entrepreneurs. NHFDC Foundation is making efforts for development of a brand and platform for marketing of products of these determined entrepreneurs. Accordingly, name of the brand has been arrived at Ekam (Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, Marketing). The word Ekam also represents the inclusiveness, oneness and unity which appropriately describe the efforts being put in by NHFDC to develop the marketing platform and aggregation of the products through promotion of entrepreneurship, knowledge sharing, Awareness creation and marketing initiatives amongst the Divyangjan.
The week long Ekam Fest will also host a number of activities like cultural extravaganza including performances by Divyang artists and well known professionals. Additional highlights of the event will be astrological consultations and foot massage by Divyang professionals.
In the first Ekam Fest, Divyang Entrepreneur and Artisans from all over the country have been invited with representation from J&K to Puducherry and from Nagaland to Gujarat. The fest will see vibrant products of from J&K and NE with products ranging from handicraft, handloom, Embroidery work and dry fruits. During the Fair, around 80 Divyang Entrepreneur/Artisan and organizations from 18 States/UTs shall display their skills represented through their beautiful products, services and demonstration of skills. It will be an opportunity for all to encourage these products made with extra ordinary determination by the divyang craftspersons and entrepreneurs.
NHFDC also plans to start online marketing platform to promote online sales and roping in the big corporate houses. The Ekam Fest stalls will see the following broad products category:
1. Home Décor and Lifestyle
3. Stationery and Eco Friendly products
4. Packed Food and Organic Products
5. Toys and Gifts
6. Personal Accessory –Jewellary, Clutch Bags
The new initiatives of NHFDC will be showcased in the Fest. A few are highlighted below:
NHFDC Swavalamban Kendra (NSK): NHFDC has taken an initiative to establish PWD owned micro skill training Centers throughout the country for skill training of PwDs. These NSKs will have a capacity to provide quality skill training to around 120 PwDs per year NSK. The PwD owner of the NSK is expected to earn around Rs 20,000 per month.
Safe Cabs in Delhi and Indore: NHFDC has made arrangement with Sakha Cabs where the PwD owned commercial vehicles will be driven by the Women drivers to provide safe taxi option for the women, children and senior citizen commuters. Such Sfe cabs are already in operation at New Delhi and Indore Airport. The vehicles here are financed by NHFDC under its scheme.
Safe Drinking Water E Carts: NHFDC has recently agreed to finance E-carts fitted with RO water dispensing vending machines. These carts will sell water in paper glasses maintaining the hygiene. The carts will be supported in operation by Bharat Jal. The PwD owner is expected to earn Rs 10,000/- to Rs 15,000/- per month in the operation of these carts.
NHFDC is an Apex corporation under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and is working since 1997. It is registered as a company not for profit and provides financial assistance to the Divyangjan/Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan/PwDs) for their economic rehabilitation and provides number of skill development programmes to empower them to grow & sustain their enterprises. To empower the Divyang and marginalized groups of the society more closely, NHFDC has taken a step forward and established NHFDC Foundation, this year. Recognizing the absence of a connect with the market which hinders fair prices and volumes in sale of the unorganized tiny Divyang entrepreneurs, NHFDC Foundation is making efforts for development of a brand and platform for marketing of products of these determined entrepreneurs.