[AI] Firm prepares blind for corporate world

prateek aggarwal prateekagarwal99 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 26 05:24:21 EDT 2008

hi all,  i would like o share a ews ith you.
kindly avoid if you know about it.

Firm prepares blind for corporate world-

MUMBAI: After years of grappling for a brighter future, Urvish Patel
has finally seen light at the end of the tunnel. Urvish is blind in
his right eye and
suffers from 60% blindness in his other eye. The 25-year-old has
landed himself a job at the global help desk in a BPO where he begins
work shortly. Urvish
was one of eight visually-impaired of the pilot batch for advanced
computer training designed for the visually-impaired. The training was
an initiative
by the firm TCS Maitree.

"Most jobs for the visually-impaired are in the informal sector. For
years I worked as an office assistant but was not happy as I longed to
be a part of
the corporate world. However, with my disability I found it difficult
to realise my dream," says Urvish.

Urvish is the sole earning member of his family. His father is retired
while his mother is a homemaker. From birth, he suffers from blindness
in his right
eye and a high fever at age 19 weakened the sight in his left eye.

He completed college by recording notes or using a magnifying glass
while studying or photocopying notes in huge
Today, however, he feels vindicated.

"The salary at my previous job was very less. I will now earn more
than three times as much as I used to. I can proudly say that I have
realised my dream
and have made my parents proud," says a beaming Urvish. At the global
help desk, Urvish will troubleshoot problems with the help of
for the blind called JAWS.

At present, the second batch of 16 visually-impaired students chosen
from all over India are being trained at the M N Banajee Industrial
Home for the Blind
in Jogeshwari. They will be trained in IT
and service management, the BPO sector as well as in soft skills.

Sporting a bright blue tee is 24-year-old Deepti Patelkhana from
Hyderabad. Deepti worked as a medical transcriptor and is now
attempting to gain knowledge
about systems and system
auditing. "
I always had weak eyesight. A brain fever at age 10 followed by
meningitis caused me to lose my vision completely. The doctors could
retain some part of
my vision only after an operation," she says.

According to her, her ears now perform the function of eyes. "With the
help of JAWS I can chat, email and even read a newspaper," says the
girl. JAWS is
a powerful
software program
designed to work with a speech synthesiser to improve the productivity
level of the visually-impaired. After this course, Deepti hopes to
join either the
human resource department in the IT sector or a non-voice based BPO.

Geetanjali Shinde, a behavioural trainer at the centre says working
with the visually-impaired is fun. "They are very enthusiastic and
intellectually stimulated.
They are very curious, passionate and opinionated."

Also working closely with the batch is Nina Screwvalla, global head of
TCS Maitree. Screwalla says that being with these special people is
inspiring, "Their
enthusiasm for life is infectious and after this training they will be
on par with people like us."

Founder of Maitree, Mala Ramadorai says that the training will ensure
that these visually-impaired will require no concessions." Concessions
at the physical
level is understandable but not at the competence level," she says.

Of the eight persons in the pilot batch, six are placed at various
corporate houses, while the other two didn't opt for employment. The
present batch will
finish training in a month's time and are enthusiastic to take on the
corporate world.
prateek garwal.
cell: 09928341197
prateekagarwal99 at gmail.com
cooldood_prateek at yahoo.com

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