• Tech Empowers Disabled Women

    An app is making life a lot easier for disabled women in Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha and Telengana. Called ‘Azaadi ki Udaan’, the app was the joint collaboration of Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC), a Bhubaneswar-based NGO, and Inflexi Technology.

    The idea took birth when SMRC realised the kind of discrimination and marginalisation disabled women go through in society. They wanted a means to help these women know and understand government policies, schemes that would make their life a lot easier and comfortable. The app is currently available in Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha and Telengana in the local language to make information easily accessible.

    According to the 2011 census, there are 12,44,402 disabled people in Odisha, of which 5,69,627 are women (reported betterindia.com).

    Women go through a difficult time adjusting to society as they are easily marginalised from the social circle because of their disabilities. Since not all of these women are literate enough to question the injustice, it becomes even more difficult to lead a normal life. This social exclusion makes these women feel helpless and disempowered not just emotionally, but financially as well. To be able to take care of oneself becomes a necessity and independence becomes an important survival instinct.

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    Azaadi ki Udaan is an app that has basic answers to questions that come under four major categories: domestic violence, health, rights and government schemes for women with disabilities. It has an easy voice messaging service as well that makes contacting for answers even more easy.

    Better India spoke to Reena Mohanty, Programme Manager, SMRC, who said, “During the course of our work, we have observed that disabled women are eager to know about their rights but they are unable to ask anyone because they are suppressed from childhood. We devised this system so that they are able to get expert guidance without being dependent on anyone.”

    There are live examples of people who have been helped by this app to build a better life for themselves. One woman sought the app’s help to start her own grocery shop as well as a small auto repair shop.

    Many women do not know to apply for or even if they are eligible for specific government schemes that can empower them, Azaadi ki udaan is one app that is bridging that gap between disabled women and access to information, solution and justice.

    Feature Image Courtesy: livemint.com