The Horticulture Training Center renamed to ‘N. S Hema Horticulture Training Centre’ in memory of the founder of APD
Hundreds of youth with disability from less privileged society are trained to make their own livelihood and lead an independent life.
Bengaluru 08 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 Abraham the 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 at GreenMyLife have employed more than 10 gardeners from APD and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with them. Their focus on the task at hand, attention to detail, sincerity and enthusiasm at work is unmatchable. APD is doing a wonderful job by rehabilitating youth with disability, empowering them with vocational and life skills I wouldn't call them disabled at all - they are the most able among my workforce and I plan to recruit many more employees from APD. As entrepreneurs and business leaders, it is our duty to recruit more of them so that we can bring them into mainstream jobs so that the differences are slowly erased and acceptance from the society is increased” said Gitanjali Rajamani, CEO and Founder, GreenMyLife
The Association of People with Disabilities (APD) works under 4 primary verticals
1. Early intervention - The program reaches out to toddlers in the age group 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 - Children with Disabilities (CWDs) have specific needs and need intensive preparation to be mainstreamed. Not all schools are disabled friendly and their teachers are ill-equipped to deal with CWDs. Not to mention issues like malnutrition. Hence, APD’s Education program is focused on creating a mainstream, inclusive environment where infrastructure, physical and learning ability are no longer barriers to Children with Disability (CWD) in their academic progress.
3. Livelihood – Our livelihood initiatives are designed to prepare persons with disability, in the age group 16-35 years , by providing vocational training, personality development, language skills, skill support, career guidance, most importantly placement support and follow up at workplace so that they achieve self sufficiency through employment or self employment.
4. Spinal cord injury rehab – Spinal cord injury can occur from many causes like accidents, falls from height, spinal T B, gunshots etc. resulting in a person losing mobility and physical sensation. Majority of the people affected with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) are from lower socio-economy class and without proper rehabilitation and supportive system, their lives are not independent
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