Differently abled persons find it very difficult to be accepted as active and functional members of the society. Employment is a key step towards their sustainable empowerment, because it provides a sense of belonging, importance and gradually increasing independence. Being able to work and earn income is an effective way of minimising social exclusion and poverty. However, the main obstacles in achieving employment are widespread societal bias, negative circumstances (poverty and lack of skills) and physical limitations (bad health, lack of transport and accessibility).
It was such a scenario, that evoked in the mind of Gopinath Muthukad to formulate the second phase of the Different Art Centre, under the name of Universal Empowerment Centre. The concept is first of its kind in India – probably even globally.
The Universal Empowerment Centre is envisaged to enhance the employability of differently abled youth through tailored skill and capacity development trainings. In addition, they would be imparted training to enhance and polish their profession etiquette and communication skills. The centre is expected to function as a training centre during the day and as an entertainment centre in the evening, which will be entirely managed by these differently abled youth. Youth who successfully pass their training program will be given a chance to take up paid internships in managing the entertainment centre.
Universal Empowerment Centre (UEC) will be a complete entertainment arena of differently abled artistes, including entertainment (music, dance, magic, puppet shows and shadow play) by the differently abled people. The centre would also have restaurants where families can dine. The youth will undertake the performance related activities, other functions and operations in the centre. All the tasks and day to day activities of the centre will be their responsibility through which they will emanate as stars in every sense throughout the year.