Planting seeds of change for the differently-abled

Planting seeds of change for the differently-abled

Handicrops Divyanga Impex Ltd is an organisation run by differently-abled people with the help of the public to encourage self-employment by assisting people with disabilities and their families. It started functioning last November in Palakkad, Kerala.

"This is a company run by disabled people to train the differently-abled and help them earn their livelihood through self-employment. Thereby, they can improve their standard of living and contribute to the well-being of their families and communities," says Lekha S Kumar, the chairperson of the company.

The members of the company mostly work from home. They make paper pens, LED bulbs, paper bags, umbrellas, handmade soaps, jewellery and handicrafts. They do direct selling as well as online marketing.

K Ranjini from Thiruvananthapuram has been bed-ridden for many years because of a spinal injury. But she is happy now as she has an income of her own. A member of Handicrops, she makes paper pens.

Another young woman, who is a watercolour artiste, also makes paper pens like Ranjini.

Of the eight directors of the company, five are differently-abled.

Today, the company has people from Scheduled Tribes and widows (unmarried ladies above 45 in projects) as well. The company is collaborating with NTPC, SSM and Community Rehabilitation to assist the differently-abled.

In the near future, the company is aiming to manufacture electric wheelchairs, sanitary napkins, bamboo products, wooden furniture and articles as well as organic products and plants.

Anybody who is interested in helping this group can take a share in the company with an investment starting from Rs 10,000 to five lakh.

Future venture in Karnataka

The company is planning to start projects in Karnataka, starting from Shimoga, by associating with the National Poverty Eradication Scheme of Lead Bank. Training will be provided to 35 people below poverty line including Scheduled Tribes, widows and the disabled from all districts.

What is a paper pen?

The paper pen is like a ballpoint pen but the re-filler is plastic. The rest of the body and cap is made of fluorescent and magazine papers. The price of the paper pen varies from Rs 5 to Rs 8 depending on the variety. The customer can order the pen and it will be sent to the customer by courier.

The advantage of a paper pen

Primarily, a paper pen is environment-friendly as the use of plastic is reduced to 10%. Secondly, a seed is kept inside every paper pen. After usage, whenever one disposes of these pens, these seeds are thrown into the soil. Every pen has different seeds. So, whenever a paper pen is disposed of, a tree is born.

For details, log into


Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox