Shantamma, a Business Analyst riding high
I am a Business Analyst in Northern Trust earning Rs. 19,000 per month!” says Shanthamma with pride and happiness
&ldquo Hadn’t it been for the support of livelihood resource centre (LRC) based at Cheshire Homes India, Bangalore Unit, I would have remained in my village without any progress,” she says.She is a picture of self-confidence and courage and is just 24-years-old! Her remarks fill others like her with hope and confidence.
Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD), with financial support from Accenture, started a project called 'Access to Livelihoods’ by establishing Livelihoods Resource Centres (LRCs) in various locations, with the ambitious goal of increasing the economic participation of people with disabilities around the world. LRCs (Livelihood Resource Centres) are the nerve centres through which Leonard Cheshire Disability functions. LRCs not only provide training and counselling, but they also help the disabled to find jobs of their choice. Accenture supports LCD in this venture.
Shanthamma says, “My mother was the only one who supported me in my studies. The rest of the family members were against it. I come from a poor family in Kalluru - a small village in Gubbi District of Karnataka State. I live with my parents, three younger sisters, a brother and my grandmother.”
Shanthamma was born with a hunched back so walking is a difficult task for her.But she focused on completing her education. She first studied at her village school.Gainingin confidence from her mother’s support, she then travelled 30 kilometreseveryday,from her village to her college in Gubbi, for 5 years - to complete her graduation. Her disability coupled with her lack of skill, and financial constraints in pursuing any skill training, were bottlenecks in getting employment.
She underwent training in Accounting at Cheshire Homes India, Bangalore Unit(CHI-BU), a Livelihood Resource Centre (LRC) of Leonard Cheshire Disability.She was employed in the accounts section of CHI for two years. Looking for better opportunities, she attended our job fair. She was selected by a leading IT company and she worked as a Process Executive for two years earning Rs.14000/- per month.Keen to sharpen her skills, Shanthamma attended another training programme atCHI-BU. The LRC staff guided her throughcareer counselling, giving her insights into demands of the current job market, and available opportunities. Again through our Job Fair, she got selected by Northern Trust. Today Shanthamaworks as a Business Analyst earning Rs.19,100/- per month. She has now moved to Bangalore and has taken her family with her.
CHI,supported by Leonard Cheshire Disability and Accenture,walks alongside each candidate through thewider community, challenging negative cultural perceptions of disability. Our counseling to students and their parents have worked well. Smiling,Shanthamma says, “My two years at CHI-BUespecially the aptitude training has made me a stronger person emotionally and helped me gain the much needed confidence in myself!”