Jakarta (ANTARA) - Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Minister Teten Masduki stated that of a total of 28.05 million people with disabilities, 22 percent are of working age and need access to self-development.

“Based on data, there are around 28.05 million people with disabilities, and 22 percent of them are of working age. To this end, this must be seen by all parties as part of a group that needs to be given access to education and access to the business world,” he said here on Sunday.

He conveyed the statement at the Work Without Limitations, No One Left Behind event.

Masduki underlined that people with disabilities need to be given the same opportunities to grow and develop as humans and entrepreneurs.

He acknowledged that people with disabilities have outstanding talents in various fields, from art to entrepreneurship.

He expressed appreciation to the Indonesian Tough Women (PTI) Foundation, which is fully committed to supporting the inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities.

The foundation is developing a community empowerment approach to build an ecosystem and prepare a business incubator for them to grow and develop.

It is also working with big companies that can provide internship opportunities to people with disabilities.

Masduki said he wanted to continue developing this concept so that, in the future, a special platform or ecosystem would be created for people with disabilities.

On the same occasion, the Chairperson of the PTI Foundation, Myra Winarko, stated that even though the foundation has created an ecosystem for people with disabilities, support and guidance from the Cooperatives and SMEs Ministry are still expected.

She noted that the Work Without Limitations, No One Left Behind event was held to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated every December 3.

Winarko stated that this year's commemoration event was held differently because it featured a business bazaar and an art performance by people with disabilities.

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Translator: Ade Irma, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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