Amit, a champion from PCO to BPO and role model for his village
I am happy about my achievements in life. I work for the betterment of other persons with disabilities and passionate about my work." - says Amit
28-year-old Amit Kumar lives with his mother and younger brother in Greater Noida, New Delhi. His father passed away last year due to illness.
Amit says, “I spent my childhood in my village of Kila Parikshitgarh in Uttar Pradesh. I have had polio since the age of one. It has affected the movements of my left leg. Though I was given treatment in several government and private hospitals my condition did not improve.”
I have studied up to Class 10 but I struggled to go to school because of my disability. In 2009, my father moved to Delhi in search of employment. Deendayal Upadhyay Hospital gifted me with a tricycle. This helped me to set up a PCO (public call office) in Noida. I started to earn a living. But it was not easy. The local police officers were harassing me as they wanted me to leave. They could not demand a monthly ‘bakshish’ (tip) from me as I was disabled. They wanted to give the space to an able person who would pay them their regular tips. All this discouraged me. I decided to stop running the PCO. It was at this time I came in contact with EFICOR (Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief) through the regional Vocational Rehabilitation Centre.
EFICOR is one of the LRCs (Livelihood Resource Centres) set up by Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) under the ‘Access to Livelihood’ project. LRCs operate in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines and South Africa, with the financial support of the Accenture Foundation. This project is all about increasing the economic participation of persons with disabilities. Through LRCs, Leonard Cheshire Disability provides training, counseling, and placements, and helps persons with disabilities to start their own business ventures.
Amit says, “With EFICOR’s encouragement and moral support I completed Class 12 through open schooling. Their regular counseling and confidence building measures helped me to get over my feeling of being a failure. They developed my communication skills in writing, speaking and for office interviews. I began to feel positive about my future. Thanks to EFICOR I am able to earn my livelihood today.”
“I am very happy with what I have achieved in life. I work for the betterment of other persons with disabilities. I am passionate about my work. My job is to mobilize and place candidates at Aegis, a BPO (business processing office) in Delhi. I also work as a volunteer with EFICOR LRC,” says Amit brimming with confidence.
EFICOR staff is pleased with Amit’s progress in life. Amit’s work is also appreciated by his seniors in Aegis and by EFICOR LRC. The family too is happy. They are proud that he has completed his higher education and has started working. He has become a beacon of hope for other persons with disabilities.