Jayasurya, a Helper in AM Industries, Chennai
Jayarurya is working and earning. Never imagined this would happen", says Devaraj, Father
“I used to always worry about Jayasurya. Every time I was at work my wife used to call me and I would panic wondering what kind of trouble he was in,” says Devaraj.
Devaraj lives in Ambattur, one of Chennai’s oldest industrial areas. He works as a cleaner with the Chennai Corporation. He has been irregular to work because of ill-health. His wife looks after Jayasurya and his two younger sisters, Vishali (Class 12) and Divyashri (Class 10).
Devraj says, “Jayasurya was unable to cope with his studies in the government primary school. He would often get into fights with other students. We were worried. But our relatives dissuaded us from seeking medical help. They felt he was just being adamant and naughty. He will soon improve they said.”
In class 5 Jayasurya discontinued his studies. It was then the parents realized that they had to seek medical help. They took him to the Government hospital for children at Egmore where he was assessed by several doctors. The doctors told them that their son was mentally retarded!
As advised by the doctors, the parents admitted him into a special school where he stayed from ages 12 to 17. When he returned home the parents had him treated for his violent bouts of anger. To keep him engaged they enrolled him into a one-year livelihood program implemented by Navjyoti Trust with support of LCPNP.
A relieved Devaraj says, “Jayasurya completed his course and started working as a helper in AM Industries. He earns Rs.5000/- a month. This is his second month of employment!”
Devaraj says, “We were in debt as we had taken several loans to finance our children’s education. We never dreamt that Jayasurya would be stable enough to get a job. Most employers would not want to take the risk of employing him. But the one-year training at Navajyothi Trust has inculcated discipline and developed confidence in him which has enabled him to get a job. I keep in touch with Jayasurya’s instructor at Navajyothi and his employer to smoothen the process of his growth and development.
Jayasurya’s mother says, “He is more patient now. His behavior towards us and his siblings has improved. He helps me with household chores on Sunday.”
Initially Jayasurya was hesitant to spend his salary. Soon he realized that his family needed the money. He paid off the debt they owed the local provision store. He purchased a cycle so he could cycle to work. He is now more productive and his bouts of anger have reduced.
“Thank you Navajyothi and to all those who have helped my son to reach this stage of development,” says a grateful Devaraj.
‘The Access to Livelihood’ program of Leonard Cheshire Disability, which is funded by Accenture Foundation, is ushering in remarkable changes in the lives of people with disabilities. Livelihood projects have been set up in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and in South Africa to support the disabled and their families to lead a better quality of life.