The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI ) supports students who have undergone technical training in its vocational training centres to get employment. Self-employment as well as waged employment is promoted.
People who have been trained through Community-Based Vocational Training Programme most often opt for self-employment. TLMTI supports them in doing market analysis and identifying the various self-employment options available. They are encouraged to choose the business activity they wish engage in, based upon their interests, skills and resources. They are then supported in initiating and establishing their businesses (developing a business plan; accessing start-up capital, production and markets). It organises interactions between potential entrepreneurs and successful entrepreneurs with disabilities. The latter act as positive role-models and inspire the former to take up the challenge of self-employment.
TLMTI acknowledges that income-generating activities can provide women affected by leprosy with a means to supplement their household income. However, such women often face barriers to their participation in business activities. These may be because of childcare and household responsibilities, lack of formal education, cultural attitudes about what is appropriate for women to do, and lack of resources. TLMTI assists them in setting up or expanding income-generating activities, either at their homes or in the community. They are encouraged to become members of SHGs (self-help groups) and participate in group enterprises.
TLMTI also encourages groups of people affected by leprosy/disability to build partnerships with local government and mainstream organisations that have programmes for poverty reduction. It urges such organisations to adopt inclusive policies and practices to ensure inclusion of people affected by leprosy/disability in the services they provide. It also works for promoting inclusion of people affected by leprosy/disability in mainstream poverty reduction and development programmes.
In a year, TLMTI supports around 4,000 people affected by leprosy/disability, and women marginalised due to poverty and gender, in establishing their own businesses, either individually or as groups.
The Leprosy Mission Trust India (TLMTI) encourages individuals who undergo training at its Vocational Training Centres to access wage employment. It regularly surveys the labour market to assess the needs of enterprises and their demands for workers related to the courses at its training centres. Relationships are built with such enterprises through dialogues and visits to its training centres.
Simultaneously, it also raises awareness about the work potential and right to employment of people affected by leprosy/disability. In-plant and apprenticeship trainings are organised in such enterprises for the employers to know the calibre of the trainees. Further, campus interviews are organised for recruitment. Upon successful placement, graduates are followed up regularly and any challenges faced by them or the employer are jointly addressed. The enterprise is sensitised to an inclusive work environment and supported to carry out access audits. TLMTI works towards implementing the recommendations of such audits which can make the workplace accessible to all.
Fair labour practices as a constitutional right are promoted in both self and wage employment. Employers are encouraged to assess if their enterprises conform to fair labour standards and are guided to bring about changes that will ensure fair labour.