Shilpa, a fresh college graduate to employee in a Top Hotel
“I am the first deaf person to get a job with Shangri-La Hotel in Bengaluru,” says Shilpa, a vibrant and fresh out-of-college youngster
“I am from a small town called Malavalli in Karnataka. After my father’s death in May 2015, my mother took care of our small farm, growing ragi (millet) and black sesame seeds. My sister got married in 2012. My elder brother, who has completed his SSLC, and also suffers from deafness like me, was placed in Shahi Export Private Ltd through the Livelihoods Resource Centre (LRC) established by Cheshire Homes, India-Bangalore (CHI-BU)” says Shilpa
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.
Shilpa continues “There were a lot of financial issues when we were kids. Father used to give us very little money and support, I do not know why, so our entire education was taken care of by my mother. Other family members helped us by giving loans, which we will have to repay once we get a job. My deafness is 75%. I have very little communication with my family members as no one knows or understands sign language. I never understood what was happening at home. I think my mother had many problems but she could not share her problems with me as she did not know sign language. Sometimes I feel I know nothing about my family and my parents.
I studied in the Kannada medium till SSLC in Puttaveeramma School for deaf girls. All my classmates were deaf. Teachers knew a little bit of sign language so I did not face any problems in school. I understood all the lessons and did well in exams. Then I joined JSS College for my Diploma in Architecture. It was very difficult for me as all subjects were in English. While at JSS, I used to worry about the right kind of employment for myself. I had never prepared a resume before and found it tough to put my ideas across to people.
In 2015 when I was in my final year, a resource person from CHI-BU visited my college and explained to me the different classes they ran for the deaf. I joined CHI-BU and took 15 days training in the Retail-Hospitality sector. Then I underwent a 2-month IT training where I learnt basic MS word, Excel, Internet. I also learnt how to prepare my resume. Most of all CHI-BU gave me confidence which I lacked previously.
When CHI-BU organized a job fair I got a placement with Shangri-La Hotel as Service Associate on a salary of Rs.12514/- per month. They provided me with uniforms too. I am very happy with my job. I think without the trainings at CHI-BU, I would not have got this job!
Apart from CHI-BU I am very grateful to my mother who struggled to bring me up. She dedicated her whole life to me and my brother. Without her I wouldn’t have studied so much or got this job. I will take good care of her and support her now”.