NCPEDP announces fellowship on disability

CHENNAI: The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), in collaboration with Azim Premji Foundation (The Philanthropy, has announced the NCPEDP-Javed Abidi Fellowship on Disability. The three-year immersive grassroots fellowship programme is meant for youth with disabilities having a keen interest in disability issues and looking to build a career in the development sector, particularly disability rights and inclusion.

A first one of its kind, the fellowship programme will give youth with disabilities an opportunity to delve into and voice issues faced by people with disabilities at the grassroots with the support of local civil society organisations across India.

“Taking the legacy of Javed Bhai forward, who has inspired countless people like me, we are launching this prestigious fellowship to commemorate him and his contribution to NCPEDP and the disability movement. Also, given that we are in the midst of the pandemic, people living with disabilities have been the worst affected. There is a struggle for food, access to basic healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities, “ says Arman Ali, executive director of NCPEDP.


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“The disability rights movement and inclusion of people with disabilities have been pushed back two decades. The fellows will help document such stories of struggle and good practices from all over the country to help build back better”.

Nearly 25% of India’s population is aged between 15 and 25. Extrapolate this to 100 million people with disabilities – and the country has a massive number of young people with disabilities, nearly 25 million, looking for equal participation and inclusion in society and the development discourse.

This year, NCPEDP observes its silver jubilee – 25 years of struggle for disability rights, inclusion and participation. To mark it, they launched the fellowship programme for selected 25 youth with disabilities on June 11, also marking the birth anniversary of one of the pioneers of the disability rights movement in India and NCPEDP’s former director, late Javed Abidi, whose vision was the inclusion of youth into the disability discourse.

“This fellowship will train 25 youths with disability as leaders and will enable them to voice the issues of the community at decision making platforms. Their research and work will lead to new narratives emerging from the grassroots which would guide the future of policy, advocacy and implementation in the disability ecosystem,” says Neelima Karath, lead for people with disability at The Philanthropy.

The fellowship programme gives opportunity to young fellows with disabilities aged 18 to 28 to work on an identified theme or issue during the fellowship period. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend for up to Rs 25,000 to meet necessary needs during the fellowship programme.

As they work with NCPEDP’s National Disability Network partners, fellows will not only gain in-depth grassroots knowledge and hands-on experience on policy level issues and challenges, but will also get mentorship support to work towards policy change/impact through various initiatives under the fellowship.

Further, the fellowship programme intends to engineer social entrepreneurship amongst and guide fellows in contributing to an evidence-based collection of advocacy efforts, experience and effects to the cause of disability in a pluralistic manner.

The fellowship programme will begin from September 1. The application is now open and the last date to apply is August 11. Young women with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.

For more information about the fellowship programme, visit For any query, write to

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