The young adults along with the parents of other deaf-blind children from the lower economic strata will be a part of the new venture that will initially support 10 families by providing them with a fixed income.
The group will begin with a tiffin distribution service and slowly expand their menu.
Children diagnosed with deafblindness have to depend on the resource and sensory room at Caritas Holiday Home, St Inez, as most are refused admission to schools for the blind and schools for the hearing impaired because of their combination of impairments.
If not for the special educators, the resource room and the income generation activities, those with deafblindness would be languishing at home, where parents struggle to cope with their needs.
Project coordinator Reflino Fernandes told TOI that is it time to raise the standards. “When we think of the differently-abled we think of them making jewellery or paper bags. The catering service will raise the bar and allow them to cater to a larger segment of society. They will be involved in a variety of jobs including cooking, receiving cash as well as in the distribution service and have greater interaction with people,” he said.
Caritas’s proposal was sent to the Automobile Corporation of Goa Ltd (ACGL) and selected from a number of proposals. ACGL will support the venture, assisting it in buying assets needed to set the operation going and support it for the first six months after which the income generation unit will support itself through its profits.
Caritas is looking for premises on rent in the state city with a water and sewage connection where it can set up.
With the resource room at Caritas Holiday Home becoming too crowded, Caritas is also looking for premises to set up a full-fledged centre where children and young adults will have access to physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, water therapy and receive medical support to help their overall development.