National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped
NASEOH – Tackling disability from the core
If you were a disabled person what is that one thing you would always pray for? That your disability be taken away, right? Now, what could be the next best thing you could pray for? That despite your disability, you be able to live as normal a life as possible, isn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what NASEOH, a 40-year old Mumbai-based nonprofit strives to do for the disabled people it works. So, from providing wheelchairs/tricycles to make the physically disabled mobile to physiotherapy for the severely disabled to vocational training and job placement to help them earn a living – they cover the entire spectrum of activities that would help a disabled person live as independent a life as possible. In 21 years of social service, he arranged 17 marriages between blind, handicapped and leprosy-afflicted couples and conducted the ceremonies at his own business establishment – the Hindoostan Mills.
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How it all began
A little known fact about the famous cricketer Vijay Merchant is that he was totally moved by the plight of the physically challenged. His numerous crusades against the hardships faced by the physically challenged is what led him to set up the NASEOH. “God has been kind to me in many ways. There is only one way to repay my debt to him: by helping the handicapped and the disabled,” he used to say.
During his post-cricket days, he used to meet, on an average, 15-20 homeless and handicapped people at his office; to whom he provided wheelchairs, three-wheeled cycles, special types of chairs and Jaipur Foot. He also provided the blind with white canes, Braille machines, lottery business, cloth agency, fruit vending, public telephone booths.
NASEOH is your typical NGO where the grassroutes work is really good but they are not very good at marketing. So, when it comes to employment of the disabled, they offer varied courses – tailoring, baking, pottery, data entry operation, gardening etc. However they could do with more data entry and tailoring work ( both premises were partially vacant).
Another area they need help with is in marketing of their products better. Currently, only those people who visit their center land up buying their products. While they have a good amount of visitors, the products are clearly not selling enough. So, if a volunteer could help them with marketing the same through Ebay and other online portals, it would be super! Would help them get some visibility and donations against the products sold.