Encouraging and Empowering Aspirational Women with Disabilities

24 Jun 2022

A person with disabilities faces several challenges when it comes to pursuing education. For many, financial constraints put an end to any aspirations of higher education. For a woman especially, facing disability challenges, career-oriented higher study is more of a need than a matter of interest. Any kind of support to this community goes a long way in not just ensuring quality education for women with disabilities, but also a promising livelihood in terms of job placements.  

Through the ‘Enable the Capable’ Scholarship, the Indian Industry has stepped forward to support, promote and encourage women with visual impairment, to pursue higher education. Launched by CII-IBDN (India Business & Disability Network), in partnership with the NAB India Centre for Blind Women and Disability Studies, and supported by Rasna International, the Enable the Capable Scholarship has been created to help the aspirational women with disabilities in our society by providing them the means to attend educational institutes and give them the tools to lead an independent life.

The scholarship aims at promoting, encouraging and supporting women students with disabilities, achieve their aspirations of higher education. This can go a long way in helping them lead an independent and productive life, while also contributing to the society. It provides aspirational women scholars the opportunity to attain quality education and a degree from renowned universities, such as the Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Himachal University, Pune University and Bangalore University.

The scholarship was announced at the 3rd annual flagship National Conference on Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities on 10 May 2022 in New Delhi. The first batch of 15 visually impaired students from Delhi University received the scholarship during the conference.

The scholarship will support a cohort of aspirational women scholars with disabilities for 3 years to pursue quality higher education by helping them acquire assistive technology for independent recording, reading and writing (the device costs around INR 11,000).  It also supports blind candidates who take up hostel facility within their college or outside by covering their mess charges or assisting with stay cost and transportation.

The 3-step selection process includes identification of aspirational women scholars with disabilities belonging to marginalized and underprivileged groups. Applications are invited and the candidates are shortlisted through desk assessment and telephonic interviews. The scholarship jury reviews the assessment report and holds interviews with the shortlisted applicants as a part of the final selection process.

This initiative creates an opportunity to mainstream women with disabilities, enhance their exposure and promote inclusion. In the coming years, the scholarship will be extended to other students across India, subsequently, creating a pool of qualified women PwDs capable of becoming independent and a valuable part of the country’s workforce.

The CII-IBDN is managing the programme. The scholarship program also attempts to engage member companies by offering internship opportunities to interested scholars.

For more details about the programme, please connect with the CII-IBDN secretariat.  

Visit the website for more details.

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