‘N. S Hema Horticulture Training Centre’ by APD aims for 100% placement this year

Bangalore, 10 April, 2017: The Horticulture Training Center, run by The Association of People with Disabilities (APD) has been renamed as the ‘N. S Hema Horticulture Training Centre’ in memory of the founder of APD and architect behind the establishment of the centre. A formal function was held today at the venue in Kyalasanahalli, in the presence of dignitaries like Kishore S Rao, Chairman, The Bangalore Hospice Trust and Dr. H. Shivanna, Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore and M. J Aravind, vice-president, APD who collectively unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the ocassion. The 58 year old organization holds their founder in high regard and makes every effort towards working for the inclusion of disabled people in the mainstream society, a goal set by their founder N. S Hema.

“Hema, was an amazing person. I had the fortune of meeting her and learning from her as I stepped into my career. She has built APD brick by brick. Her heart and soul was in it as she gave dignity to many, through education, rehabilitation and livelihood options. Renaming this institute is the least that we can do for the next generation to remember this visionary woman. We are also identifying and working closely with our partners to ensure all the people with disability training with us, get a job opportunity” said Christy Abrahamthe CEO of APD.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest Dr H Shivanna, Vice Chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, said, "Late Ms Hema, the Founder of The Association of People with Disability (APD)  was a visionary. She aimed for developing human capital as far back as 50 years ago when it was a little known concept. She was passionate about empowering People with Disability (PwD) and helping them to lead lives of dignity. APD has grown substantially over the years and the service it is doing  must be disseminated far and wide. We are proud to have had Hema amidst us."

The founder of APD, N. S Hema was affected by polio (at her young age) both in her legs and one arm. She had a passion for horticulture and believed that while this could provide therapeutical effect helping coordination and social skills of people with disability; it also enable them with skills to make their own livelihood and lead an independent life. Over the past 30 years, the horticulture centre has trained over 2000 people with disability and more than 90% of them have been employed in this field after the training. The training centre has a provision to accommodate a batch of 80 trainees for a 6 month residential training program at the Kyalasanahalli horticulture training centre. The faculty of 17 teachers (11 of which are people with disabilities) provide courses that comprise of gardeners, landscapers, supervisors to lead a life with dignity. 

The N. S Hema Horticulture Training Centre also provides gardening and plant décor services to many institutions and corporates across the city. Their clients are spread across the domains of aerospace, hospitality and IT firms - IBM, Goodrich, Olde Bangalore resort and GreenMyLife to name a few.

 “We atGreenMyLife have employed more than 10 gardeners from APD and it has been anabsolute pleasure to work with them. Their focus on the task at hand, attentionto detail, sincerity and enthusiasm at work is unmatchable. APD is doing awonderful job by rehabilitating youth with disability, empowering them withvocational and life skills I wouldn't call them disabled at all - they are themost able among my workforce and I plan to recruit many more employees fromAPD. As entrepreneurs and business leaders, it is our duty to recruit more ofthem so that we can bring them into mainstream jobs so that the differences areslowly erased and acceptance from the society is increased” said GitanjaliRajamani, CEO and Founder, GreenMyLife 

TheAssociation of People with Disabilities (APD) works under 4 primary verticals

1.       Earlyintervention - The program reaches out to toddlers in the agegroup of 0 to 6 years to catch disability early and restrict its progression.If detected early the disability could be avoided or the secondary problems/deformity could be prevented.

2.       Education - Childrenwith Disabilities (CWDs) have specific needs and need intensive preparation tobe mainstreamed. Not all schools are disabled friendly and their teachers areill-equipped to deal with CWDs. Not to mention issues like malnutrition. Hence,APD’s Education program is focused on creating a mainstream, inclusiveenvironment where infrastructure, physical and learning ability are no longerbarriers to Children with Disability (CWD) in their academic progress.

3.       Livelihood – Ourlivelihood initiatives are designed to prepare persons with disability, in theage group 16-35 years , by providing vocational training, personalitydevelopment, language skills, skill support, career guidance, most importantlyplacement support and follow up at workplace so that they achieve selfsufficiency through employment or self employment.

4.       Spinalcord injury rehab – Spinal cord injury can occur from many causes likeaccidents, falls from height, spinal T B, gunshots etc. resulting in a personlosing mobility and physical sensation. Majority of the people affected withSpinal Cord Injury (SCI) are from lower socio-economy class and without properrehabilitation and supportive system, their lives are not independent 

    Successstory from Horticulture training centre:

 “Mygreatest achievement is my ability to support my family consistently. I havecompleted my undergraduation degree (B.A.) in English, History and Geography inBagalkot. My education encouraged me to look for gainful employment. Butemployers were apprehensive about hiring me because of my disability and use ofmobility aids. I underwent a 4-month training programme in horticulture (gardensupervisor) at APD’s Horticulture Training Center in Kyalasanahalli. Today Ihave successfully setup a new branch for the nursery I work for in Horamavu. Ihave never considered my disability as a problem and today I am happy with Ido” says Marthanda, who trained at N. S Hema Horticulture Training Centre.

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