“While disability doesn’t necessarily equate to inability, a lot of us run with this negative bias towards people with special needs. Many-a-times, talented people from this section go unnoticed, suppressed even, all because employers weren’t ready to risk a chance with them, when in reality they are truly some of the best resources a company could ever invest upon.
And noticing this void, especially after coming from a background in social work, I knew I wanted to do my bit to contribute towards a positive change. This motivation was the starting point to two of my major startups, post marriage- ‘Can do’ and ‘Käse Cheese’. While the former focused on training people in tele-calling and other research oriented avenues, eventually aiding them to get into the corporate space, the latter was a passion project specifically for girls with hearing impairments.
The idea, you see, was very simple! I wanted to train people with special needs, in skills that are either relevant to our ever-evolving corporate world, or those that will empower them to run a business of their own. There were, of course, tons of challenges at every step of the way, right from spotting the right talent, getting them to trust our vision, to further convincing their families of the immense potential that each individual had. But, to us, this process was essential since so many of the folks that we had chosen were coming from traumatic and abusive pasts in search of a better future!
Now, I couldn’t have managed to do all this, over several years without my husband and another best friend, who’s also my business partner. With our hearts in the right place and intentions clear, we saw our hustle pay off in the year 2018, when we got a call declaring us as the proud recipients of the ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ for the year, for our little contribution towards empowering women.
The moment felt surreal, and put us even more in focus towards scaling our initiatives for the betterment of a much larger section of the society. Today, I’m happy to be a part of an enthusiastic group of people, promoting inclusion and ways to break the stereotype surrounding disability. After all, it is just a matter of perception and the only disability is a condescending attitude.”