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CBM receives Zero Project Innovation Award 2017

Four men are wearing suit standing next to each other and two men in the sender holding a certificate together.
© CBM
Senior Programme Officer Dinesh Rana, CBM India, center right, and Manager Corporate Communication and Partnership Parvinder Singh, CBM India, center left, receiving the award from Martin Essl, Founder of the Essl Foundation, extreme right, and Michael Fembek, Director of the Zero Project, extreme left.

CBM’s disability inclusive organic farming project in India has been awarded the Zero Project Innovation Award 2017 for innovative practice for innovative practice on creating self-employment and livelihood opportunities. The recognition celebrates the inclusive approach with persons with disabilities in leadership roles creating opportunities for the entire community.

The multi-state project brings together persons with disabilities and non-disabled persons for organic farming and livelihood through the agriculture-related value chain. Over 11,000 farmers with and without disabilities have been provided training and self-employment in farming.
 
CBM received the award for the project’s inclusive approach, focus on leadership of persons with disabilities, market linkages, and sustainability.
 
These awards are given annually by the Vienna-based Zero Project to recognise the best projects and practices from across the world on a specific theme centred on its organisational motto of “a world without barriers”.
 
The awards involve a yearlong process of nominations and selection by a jury of experts and practitioners.
 
The theme for this year was on employment, work and vocational education and training.
 
CBM’s project was selected from 243 nominations and awarded in the category of innovative practice. A total of 56 nominations were selected for the final awards for innovative practices. The recipients of the awards were honoured at a ceremony on the 23rd of February at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna.

The award ceremony was held along with a global conference that drew participants from international agencies, business, development organisations and government representatives. According to the organisers, close to 500 delegates attended the conference.
A man wearing Indian waistcoat holding a book in front of a poster ©CBM India
Senior Programme Officer Dinesh Rana, CBM India, center right, and Parvinder Singh Manager Corporate Communication and Partnership, CBM India, center left, receiving the award from Martin Essl, Founder of the Essl Foundation, extreme right, and Michael Fembek, Director of the Zero Project, extreme left.
CBM India shared its project through a panel discussion on the theme of self-employment and entrepreneurship. Senior Programme Officer Dinesh Rana, who leads the project, explained the theory of change that drives the project, highlighted its core principals and the business case that is creating individual and community development.
 
“Economic empowerment of persons with disabilities is one of the core mandates of CBM. Through the project we are facilitating persons with disabilities to emerge as leaders, through technical training, transfer of knowledge on various aspects, including packaging and sales, accessible farming processes and creating market opportunities,” said Dr. Sara Varughese National Director of CBM in India.
 
“The distinguishing aspects of disability inclusive organic farming include low-cost inputs and high returns, creating inclusive farmers groups increasing capacity to take loans and support of government schemes and marketability of the organic produce like vegetables, spices, honey and edible oils,” said Dinesh Rana.
 
A communication resource package of stories of change, photo-essays, video blogs and social media campaigns highlighted the impact and salient aspects of the project.
 
CBM’s chosen project and its stories were not only creating a strong buzz on Facebook and Twitter but were also featured as one of the most popular projects among the participants.

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