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Media Release - Zero Project 2017

India’s disability inclusive livelihood farming project receives global recognition

New Delhi: An inclusive organic farming project that brings together persons with disabilities and non-disabled members from rural communities in India to create livelihood has been recognised for innovation and inclusion by the Vienna-based Zero Project.
The ‘Innovative Practice of the Zero Project 2017’ recognise projects in the field of employment for people to act as an inspiration to achieve ‘A world without barriers’.  
The CBM  – a leading disability and development organisation – supported disability inclusive organic farming project in India has been shortlisted through a global competition through a yearlong process judged by experts from across the world.

“Economic empowerment of persons with disabilities through livelihood opportunities is one of the core mandates of CBM and through the disability inclusive farming project we have supported persons with disabilities to take a leadership role, through training, transfer of knowledge, accessible farming processes and market linkages,” said Dr Sara Varughese, National Director of CBM.

This year, Zero Project received 213 nominations of innovative practices from almost 100 different countries from all around the world.

“The distinguishing or unique 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, Senior Programme Officer, CBM.
The number of farmers employed or having a livelihood is 11,158 – out of these 4,098 are persons with disabilities. The outreach is to 1,110 villages in six states with a land size of 2314.5 hectares.
The award will be announced and conferred at a global conference being held from February 20-25th 2017 at United Nations Convention Centre in Vienna.

Media contact: Parvinder Singh,

Notes for the Editors

About Zero Project
The Zero Project, an initiative of the Essl Foundation, focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally. It provides a platform where the most innovative and effective solutions to problems that persons with disabilities face are shared. Its sole objective is to assist in creating the world without barriers.

The Zero Project takes a solutions-based approach to its work. Together with the continuously growing network of over 3,000 disability experts in over 150 countries, it seeks to identify the most innovative and efficient Policies & Practices that improve the lives of persons with disabilities. And it tells the world about those Policies & Practices.

Each year, The Zero Project focus its research on a particular theme from the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD). It publishes a report based on this theme and organizes a conference around its results. Held at the UN in Vienna this event typically brings together close to 500 delegates from more than 70 countries.

About the award:
The Innovative Practice awards recognise the most innovative and effective projects in the field of employment for people with disabilities can be awarded as “Innovative Practice of the Zero Project 2017” and act as an inspiration to others to achieve “the world without barriers”.

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