This profile was prepared when Sashi Kala Singh was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
Shashi trains the blind and disabled to use advanced technologies (be it engineering equipment or computers) and then follows up with an aggressive job generation program. To this end, she has founded the Nepal Technical and Skill Development Center for the Blind and Disabled. Although at present the center trains its students in word processing, it is increasingly including other skills training for all educational levels, including machine operation, factory assembly, and crafts. Simultaneously, Shashi is helping to create a change in perception about the disabled population. The center conducts seminars for government officials, officers of foreign organizations, and private entrepreneurs to demonstrate that disabled persons are capable of performing various jobs in their institutions. She also heightens awareness of the disabled among employers by speaking to service clubs and employer groups, and by encouraging potential employers to hire the disabled on a trial basis. These contacts not only help foster job creation for the disabled, but also afford the center insight as to the jobs available in the public and private sectors.