The district administration has started facilitating loans for disabled youths to help them set up their own business.
In the first phase, 274 men and woman from all nine blocks of the district got loans. Earlier, the administration conducted a survey of disabled youths and provided training to the selected 274 at a centre in Dhankauda block. Expert trainers Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped, Bhubaneswar, conducted the programme. Though banks have provisions to provide loans to disabled, charging a nominal rate of interest to encourage them start various businesses, the initiative had come a cropper without proper planning and coordination with the district administration. “We are happy that the administration has taken steps to identify youths, train them and request us to disburse loans,” said regional manager of Central Bank of India Ajay Rath. He said with the cooperation of the district administration, he is quite confident that the scheme would be successful.
Collector (Sambalpur) Balwant Singh said proper coordination between beneficiaries and banks is needed to make the scheme successful. “We are functioning as a linkage between the two,” Singh said. “Many of them are talented. They need encouragement. They would definitely succeed if the government helps them,” said director of Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped, Bhubaneswar, Ram Kumar Sharma.