Umamaheshwari is a budding computer operator with huge ambitions!
"I always say to all my colleagues and friends with disability – Disability is not an obstacle to success in life!".....says Umamaheshwari
I believe with all my heart – ‘Where there is a will, there is a way!’ I am Umamaheshwari. I am 36 years old. I reside in the city of Chennai, capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India.
My house is near the Livelihood Resource Centre (LRC) of LCPNP (Leonard Cheshire Programme Nagapattinam). I have locomotor impairment. I have completed my graduation. I have experience in working. But due to my failing health I stayed at home for nearly 8 years. My father supported my medical treatment on his meager income. I also underwent 2 spinal surgeries. I am unable to sit for long periods of time.
I met the LRC-Chennai team when I happened to drop Karthiga, my friend with disability, at their office on 13th June 2017. LRC team was busy preparing Karthiga and several others with disability for their interviews in Accenture - a leading global management and technology firm. LRC Project Manager and LRC Training Officer were holding mock interviews for them. Candidates aspiring to work with Accenture were there to check their resumes and credentials, and prepare themselves for questions at the interview.
Seeing my disability, one of the development workers at EUIL-LRC (European Union India Livelihoods – the funding partner), started interacting with me. At first I denied my interest in working. The LRC team counseled me very gently. They filled me with hope and confidence. Excited I hurriedly went home and brought my resume and credentials to them. They helped me to cross check the information. They prepared me for questions in accounting! My confidence levels rose sky high. My heart was filled with hope. My heartfelt thanks to the LRC team for all their support, guidance, and most of all, for giving me this opportunity to earn!
At first the LRC team was uncertain whether I would appear for the interview on June 15th. But I was a different person now - bursting with enthusiasm. There were 15 other people with disability besides me for the interview. The interview process at Accenture, Sholinganallur was long and cumbersome. There were no less than 3 stages of scrutiny. But the Accenture HR staff (Human Relations) were very friendly and amicable.
The placement process at Accenture was tough. I was put off by the typewriting test held in the late evening hours. The panel was ready to interview me at 7 pm only. But to my delight I performed well! Can you imagine my surprise when I was selected? Accenture staff wanted to do the documentation process the very same day. Normally it takes a week.
Before I went and joined Accenture, the LRC team gave me Foundation Training at their LRC centre in Chennai. They prepared me for my vocation. Full of hope I joined Accenture in July 2017 when all the formalities were completed. The team at Accenture is very friendly. I felt more at home than ever before.
LRC presented me with an electric wheel chair because of my difficulty in sitting for long hours. The chair was donated by one of their referral stakeholders. Today I earn a monthly income of Rs.15000/- per month. The company provides me with a cab for travel. I have also been given a room to accommodate my wheel chair and keep it secure.
I now volunteer at the mobilization drives of LRC to spread the word of LRC. I help LRC staff in convincing people with disability to come for their trainings and access placement services. I am a brand ambassador for this project.
I always say to all my colleagues and friends with disability – Disability is not an obstacle to success in life!
EUIL (European Union India Livelihoods) project was initiated in January 2016 with the aim of providing livelihoods and employment to 5000 people with disability during its 3-year tenure. EUIL funds and guides its 5 project partners working with it in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi. One of its project partners is LCPNP.