Labour Minister calls on people with disabilities to join the workforce

The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources, in collaboration with the Disabled People’s Organization of Bhutan (DPoB) provided critical skills training to participants with disability from May 27 to October 26.

The five-month long training, which is a first of its kind in Bhutan were conducted at NLD training institute, Lekdrup Skills Development Institute and Norbu International Wellness Institute. The training which comprised of Baking, Tailoring and, Spa and Massage training, aimed to build an inclusive society as well as boost self-esteem and self-reliance of people with disabilities thereby encouraging them to be independent, confident and contributing members of the society. It was funded by the Asian Development Bank.

The closing ceremony took place on 26th of October and certificates were awarded by Lyonpo amid an exhibition of fine array of pastries, tailor-made attires and spa and massage items by disabled people.

“The Program Officers and the Training Institutes were skeptical in the beginning but with the help of DPoB, the program has been a huge success. Our aim is to integrate the people with disabilities into the mainstream so they are seen as people who are equally capable as normal people. Our disabled people deserve an equal chance of being able to earn their own livelihood. The Ministry has identified 108 sectors in total which can cater to people with various needs,” said Lyonpo Karma Dorji.

The labor minister also said that an unemployed person with disability has options to work with various firms and a portion of their salary is going to be funded by the ministry. The ministry has already talked to the banks to provide them with financial support and the banks were willing to invest in such people, provided they were skilled.

There are grants provided by the economic affairs and the banks support import substitution. Access to finance has been drastically improved. The Minister said that the prospect is looking good; even if the people with disabilities wanted to start a business, these kinds of skills are already in demand in the market and these businesses aren’t even capital-intensive.

“One of the challenges faced by people with disability is social stigmatization,” Lyonpo added.

He said people shouldn’t look at a person’s disability and shun them and rather they should look at their skills.

“If they are truly skilled and efficient, even a person with disability can be more valuable than an able-bodied person who doesn’t have any skills. We have plans for them in the sense that we are going to closely work with the disabled people’s organizations, hold skilling programs and help them stand on their own feet,” said Lyonpo.

Tandin Dorji, 25, is a person who has to sit on a wheelchair due to his severe physical disability. He said that he used to design bags and market them but his disability proved to be a hindrance.

“Life wasn’t going well for a challenged person like me. I decided to take this training since I have a passion for cooking. In the past I have been discriminated against in schools and even told that I will never achieve anything in life but now people are looking at persons with disability in new light due to these kinds of skilling programs which I am grateful for,” he said.

Regarding his future plans, the ministry has already provided persons disabilities with necessary equipment to start a business and he intends to form a group for persons with disabilities and start a joint venture in Motithang.

Lyonpo shares that he feels deeply for people with disabilities since he has a son who is suffering from disability, and he would like to help them in any way he can.

Check Also

The wait for free WiFi and Sungjoen App

As people wait for the free WiFi and the Sungjoen App, which the government has …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *