Women with disabilities are developing their skills in handicrafts and also earning regular income through them. RDT runs 6 handicrafts centres in different places in Anantapur district. The latest centre was started at Udegolam near Rayadurg in 2016. 60 young women with disabilities are learning tailoring and embroidery. RDT’s handicrafts department has membership in fair trade forum of India. This facilitates the expansion of its market. The products of RDT’s handicrafts centres were exhibited in the Rural trades programme mela from 24th to 28th November in 2016 and had very good sales at both the state level and the national level. This publicity has helped in the increase of production as well as sales. Volunteers from Spain are helping in training and production of creative commodities. There are also exports to Spain. The skills taught in the centres include tailoring, embroidery, ornaments, jute products, paper products and cutlery.
“I am Eswari bai. I am 26 years old. My father died 13 years ago with tuberculosis. I am the youngest child in my family. When I was 6 months old, I did nothing with the toys that my parents gave me. They then realized that I was visually impaired. I remained in the house until I was 15 years old. I felt very sad and lonely. I was not allowed to even participate in my sister’s marriage. I cried many times for my misery. In 2005, at the age of 16, I joined the handicrafts centre at B.K. Samudram. Many doubted my capacity to learn. But I learnt making artificial flowers, plates, cups, trays, ear rings, necklaces and bracelets. And I made them with quality. Everyone in my village was surprised. I earned Rs. 1500 per month and eventually saved Rs. 1.5 lakhs in the bank. I bought a house with two rooms costing Rs. 40,000 and a pair of ear rings costing Rs. 9,000. I gave Rs. 9,000 to my brother to build a house. My brother and sister -in- law, who neglected me once, are respecting me. I get a pension from the government which I give to my mother. My mother stays with me (not with my brother) and is proud of me.”