Ripples of excitement ran through the assembled gathering when Margaret Alva, the governor of Uttarakhand came to inaugurate a little plant fair in Bangalore. Simple and unassuming in her trademark silk saree and bindi, the governor who has been associated with The Association of people with Disability (APD) for years, inaugurated the sale without any fanfare.
Sale: The Association of People with Disability, 6th Cross, Hutchins Road, Off Hennur Road, Lingarajapuram, St. Thomas Town Post, Bengaluru 560 084. Ph: 25470390, 25475165
"Margaret Alva is on a visit to Bangalore and supports anything that can help people with disability, as well as the environment of Bangalore,” says Jackie Colaco, president of The Arthritis Foundation and supporter of APD.
Jackie shares that Margaret Alva spent her college years in the Bangalore East area and still retains a home in Cooke Town. She is familiar with the work of APD whose campus is located in the same neighbourhood, and is impressed by its several programmes that reach out to underpriviledged people with disability, mainly in Karnataka. She agreed to inaugurate the plant fair to encourage APD’s unique initiative in training the disabled as gardeners. This has great employment potential in our erstwhile garden city.
"She was pleased to know that women too are being accepted as trainees from the current session. Being concerned about Bangalore’s deteriorating green environment too she looks on APD’s centres in Jeevanbhimanagar and Kyalasanhalli, Kothanur, as welcome lung space,” says Jackie.
The plant fair offers plants nurtured and grown at APD’s centres.
The Association of people with Disability (APD) since its inception in 1959 has focused through its various programs on comprehensive rehabilitation of disabled people especially from impoverished segments of our society. They are engaged in providing and facilitating all relevant support to people with disability. This ranges from therapeutic services, mobility aids, counseling, education, career guidance, training and livelihood. "At any point of time, through our urban and rural network, we are facilitating qualitative transformation in the lives of around 23,000 persons with various disabilities,” reveals N S Hema, a 72 year old paraplegic and living founder of the association.
The Horticulture Training centre (HT) is one of the main programme of APD which began in 1985 to train young people with disabilities in the age group between 18-30 in horticulture. It is a 10 months free residential training program. The plant fair is one of the event of APD’s HT program. This event will be conducted by the staff and trainees of Horticulture training to raise funds for this program.
This popular event runs between 22nd to 29th July. The show has on display and sale, a wide range of exotic flowering plants, indoor and outdoor, ornamental, fruit saplings, medicinal plants, edible herbs and attractive garden artefacts. "All the proceeds from this event will go towards funding the training, mobility aids and meals of our HT trainees,” says Hema.