KADO, in 1998 initiated a program targeting people with disabilities to train them in skills that enabled them to become self-sufficient. The program had a substantial outcome where 300 persons with disabilities were trained in vocational and income-earning skills and developed a market for their products so that they could live an honorable and dignified life as productive members of society. Work has been categorized according to the capacity of the special people, attaching them to the various process of work ranging from local rug weaving (Sharma), embroidery work, spinning, sewing stitching, to playing local musical instruments
All of the trained people were engaged in various activities e.g. Sharma (local Sharma) making, wood carving, gems, and jewelry making and handicraft making, etc. Most of these trained persons become breadwinners of their families and become respectable society members. In 2004, with the financial assistance of the World Bank conducted the door-to-door survey on Disability in Hunza valley. The surveyor’s team interviewed approximately 5,795 households in all the three regions of Hunza, namely Upper Hunza, Central Hunza, and Lower Hunza accounting for 97% coverage.
As per this survey, there were about 1,200 people (2.5% of the population) with various disabilities in Hunza valley who need care and special assistance to perform day-to-day activities. The highest percentage of disabilities followed by hearing/speech 34%, mental illness 19%, visual 11%, and 0.6% having multiple disabilities.