Global Reach: Grantee Partners

Yash Charitable Trust


Up to 3% of India’s 1.3 billion population lives with some form of developmental or intellectual disability and over 12% of Indian children aged two to nine years have neurodevelopmental disorders. As they grow older, they are stigmatized and are considered less deserving of education and employment. This impacts their ability to achieve their full potential (Dasra, 2019). Anchored in data from 2011 census of India, the State of Education Report for India: Children with Disabilities (2019) highlights that one fourth of the young people between 5 – 19 years of age with disabilities do not go to any educational institution. Conservative estimates from the World Bank report suggests that 70-100 million persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (PwIDDs) live in India. 

According to a report published by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) on the Status of Persons with Disabilities in India, during the COVID19 crisis access to healthcare and medical aid, especially among those with comorbidities such as diabetes and mental health illnesses, was obstructed, limited or abruptly stopped putting them at a greater risk. 67% of PwIDDs interviewed had no access  to doorstep delivery of essentials by the government. Financial challenges owing to job loss of self and/or family members, increase in violence/abuse due to injustices amplified because of the COVID crisis have further exacerbated psychosocial issues faced by PwIDDs. According to EMpower’s ‘COVID: In Her Voice’ report too disabled girls are experiencing heightened challenges. ‘I have become more dependent on my parents this year due to the lockdown’, a respondent shared.


YCT was founded in 2014 by Dr. Sushama Nagarkar to enhance the quality of lives for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a two-fold mission: (i) provide skill development, training, and livelihood opportunities through the Skilling & Supported Employment Project (SSEP); and (ii) provide mental health support through counselling, to provide awareness and advocacy for PwIDD through seminars/workshops, and to provide job placements through the Adult Support Kendra (ASK). It runs a seamless operation from skilling to supported employment for PwIDDS who are part of YCT’s interventions. It engages with parents of PwIDDs through regular meetings and solicits their participation in the running of its programs. Sushama holds a doctorate in Special Education and is a registered Rehabilitation Psychologist with the Rehabilitation Council of India. As a parent of an adult with a developmental disability, she believes that individuals with developmental disabilities are people first and that their disability does not define who they truly are. 

Current Grant:

EMpower’s first grant to Yash Charitable Trust will directly support 520 young people by helping create a supportive ecosystem for young PwIDDS. This will include skilling 10 youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (20-30) to become job-ready in the F&B sector, sensitization of 500 young people (15-24) from the wider student community by 8 PwIDDs as self-advocates, and training 3 women from under-resourced communities to become coaches for 10 young PwIDDS. Additionally, its COVID response will include dry ration kits and cooked food distribution for families of PwIDDS YCT works with along with providing vaccines to its staff with disabilities.

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