Nirmala, a Data Entry Operator at a Business Solution company in Bengaluru
I am going to be a role model for other people with disabilities. I am going to prove to mainstream companies that people with disabilities are equal to other employees!", says Nirmala
27-year-old Nirmala lives in Vinayaka Layout in Nayandahalli, Bengaluru. Nirmala finds it difficult to walk. She has Locomotor disability from the age of 2 when polio affected both her legs. Nirmala says, “My father is a security guard in the BHEL town-ship and my mother a home maker. My younger brother works at the Bangalore diary.”
Nirmala relates, “I did my schooling St Anthony Church School. After completing my SSLC I joined JSS University at Mysore for a 3 year diploma course in Computer Science. But I did not know what to do next. I was confused. My father encouraged me to apply for an apprenticeship with BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals). I worked there for a year but I still had no idea what I wanted in life. I felt purposeless. Nothing in life seemed to be in my control.”
Nirmala shares her agony, “I stayed at home for 2 years in 2011-2013. I used to check the internet at the cyber café everyday for job vacancies. I sent my resume where I felt I would have a chance. But I was rejected either because of my disability or because I could not attend the interview as the buildings were inaccessible. I felt so helpless. Life seemed so cruel!”. One day Nirmala contacted an NGO for help. The centre guided her to Livelihood Resource Centre (LRC) at CHI-BU (Cheshire Homes India) in Bengaluru.
Nirmala continues, “At CHI-BU I underwent 3-month training in basic computers, English communication, life skills and employability. Interacting with corporate employees gave me a new ray of hope. The training sessions slowly built up my flagging confidence. I learnt to prepare my resume. I improved so much in sessions like grooming and mock interviews. Soon all my inhibitions disappeared.”
Nirmala says, “I confidently attended an interview organized by LRC CHI-BU. Today I am happily working with Neo Lotex Business Solutions as a data entry operator. I am overwhelmed with my success. Now I feel I am in complete control of my life. Thanks to the training sessions at LRC CHI-BU! I know this is just the beginning. I am going to build a strong career for myself.”
“I help to support my family which has always stood by me during my weakest moments. I am going to be a role model for other people with disabilities. I am going to prove to mainstream companies that people with disabilities are equal to other employees! LRC CHI-BU is a life changer. They have given me a new direction and a new dimension to my life. Thank you LRC CHI-BU!” concludes Nirmala with gratitude.
Supporting the people with disabilities to lead a life of success are the LRCs! LRCs are part of the ‘Access to Livelihood’ program started by Leonard Cheshire Disability, an international organization. Their path-breaking initiative is ushering in change in the lives of the disabled in countries of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and in South Africa. Accenture Foundation and Leonard Cheshire Disability are working together in bringing this much needed change!