Samaj Shilpi : A Livingston
District : Tiruvallur
Villages: Tamarapakkam, Mallandur, Venkal Kuppam, Kalapettu, Pagalmedu, Magaral, Punnapakkam, Vadmaudrai
When Livingston was 5 years old, he contracted polio and lost the use of both his legs. From then on, Livingston
struggled through life emotionally and physically. He tried his hand at various employment options : tailoring, catering, hand embroidery, hoping to lead an independent life, but nothing seemed to work out. In Dec 2005, things changed, Livingston was invited by a local NGO, to participate in a celebration on the occasion of the World Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is when he found his true calling,- to work for the upliftment of the differently abled. A tricycle from a Government Scheme increased his mobility and he was able to travel from village to nearest town. As mobility increased so did his confidence levels. His public speaking and community organization skills improved multi-fold.
Today Livingston works on building awareness on the entitlements and schemes among the differently abled and facilitates them to access Government entitlements, Schemes and aids and appliances from Government and other sources.
He has formed a community based group called the Vasantham Federation which provides a forum for the differently abled to collectively demand for the implementation of the provisions of the Persons With Disability Act, such as barrier free environment and 3% reservation in all poverty alleviations schemes, NREGA and Housing etc. The Vasantham federation has 3664 members. Through the Vasantham Federation, the lack of accessibility to toilets located in bus stands, railway stations across Tiruvallur district was documented and highlighted and action has been initiated by the government.
Recognition of Livingston’s work
- Livingston, is the single point person on the issues of Persons With Disabilities in the Thiruvallur district.
- On the World Day of Persons with Disabilities in Dec 2013, he was awarded “Valnal Sathaniyalar” ( Life time achievement award).
- He was awarded “Best Social Worker Award* in March 2014, by the Chennai based Citizen Forum.
- The Vasantham Federation of differently abled persons, has been selected by the Southern Railway Divisional Manager for representation in the Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee, Chennai Division.
Achievements from July 2014 to Jan 2015:
In 2015, A Livnogston, in his capacity as Divisional Railway Consultative committee member, met the Hon’ble Railway Minister and submitted letters appealing to improve the facilities in Tiruvallur Railway Station, stopping of Express Trains at Tiruvallur Railway Station and making all Railway stations disabled friendly (accessible for Persons with Disabilities).
It costs Rs 60,000 per year to support Livingston’s work. This Rs 60,000 can help reach government schemes and benefits to the differently abled in the work area. Each of us have the power to make a phenomenal impact by bringing in other like-minded individuals, taking direct action, and inspiring their friends and their friends’ friends to join us to create a movement.
To contribute to our efforts, Donate