The National Association of Disabled’s Enterprises (NADE) was established in Mumbai in 1987 as a Non- Governmental Charitable Trust with the main objective of motivating and supporting the unemployed and dependant disabled population of India to come out of their dejected and disappointed conditions and organize themselves into groups (Co-operatives of the disabled) and take up suitable self-employment avenues to earn their livelihood through their own efforts based on “self-help” and “mutual help”.
Most of the efforts of various Government Agencies and NGOs were directed at providing only education and training which left the disabled still unemployed and unable to make a living, sustaining themselves only on charity and the sympathy of others. Till the end of the 70s, several Industrialists absorbed the disabled in their Companies on a charity basis, but by the 80s, even educated and trained disabled were bereft of any job opportunities. This hapless situation continues till the present day.
Mr. K. N. Radhakrishnan Nair, Founder as well as the Hon. Secretary General of NADE anticipated this condition in the 70s itself and actively associated with the first “Workers Cooperative” of the Blind in Asia, viz. Blind Men’s Industrial Coop. Producers’ Society Ltd. as its Hon. Secretary which was organized with a membership of around 30 unemployed blind persons at Vikhroli, Mumbai in 1972.
With the help of Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Sangh, District Cooperative Boards and Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Coop. Management, Pune, the “Disabled’s Cooperative Movement” started spreading throughtout the Country. As a result, over 50 Disabled’s Cooperatives having a membership of over 10,000 disabled persons have been established in Maharashtra State alone and several more in other States. These Cooperatives undertake various types of production, servicing and trading activities to provide employment and other welfare services to their disabled members. Over the years, it was realized that if the Disabled’s Cooperative Movement has to become successful in our Country, the disabled members of these Cooperatives will be required to be given continuous education, training as well as professional support to prepare them to set up, run and develop more such Cooperative business enterprises.
In order to provide continuous training and to assist in arranging necessary infrastructural facilities, finance, marketing and management support to the Disabled’s Cooperatives and Industries, the National Association of Disabled’s Enterprises (NADE) was born. The Board of Trustees / Executive Council / Advisory Board of NADE has well-known personalities like Ex-Vice Chancellors of various Universities and Professionals from Industries, various Engineering and Management Institutes and Government Representatives, Philanthropists & Social Workers etc
120 Million Disabled!! The statistics of the disabled in India are alarming. 10% of our population i.e. around 120 million persons are disabled either physically or mentally. Out of these, there are over 23 million employable disabled persons, wherein only a few lakhs have registered at the special employment exchanges for the handicapped, of which, shockingly, only a few thousands are currently employed.
This frustrating condition prevails inspite of all the best efforts by Union as well as the State Governments with a vast network of National Employment Service for the Disabled and despite the passing of Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights & Full Participation) Act in 1995 with various provisions on the employment of the disabled like 3% quota in Government jobs for the disabled, etc.