The 2011 census shows that India houses 26.8 million disabled citizens, and despite the 3% employment reservation, many of them remain unsuccessful due to language barriers, or lack of computers and general knowledge. But a BPO named ‘Vindhya E-Infomedia’ in Bengaluru, India, is working to change that.
Started in 2006 by an entrepreneur named Pavithra, her aim was to run a successful business that creates a social impact. “I am a commerce graduate, I never worked anywhere before starting Vindhya. This is my first job. What I knew were excel sheets. I lost my dad. I was the first girl child and I got married. I couldn’t continue my studies. I was taking tuitions for kids,” says Pavithra, speaking to CNBC-TV 18.
What started as a two-employee organisation has now blossomed into a 1,600 strong work environment, out of which 62 % of employees are disabled. When Vindhya first came into existence, Pavithra had no prior knowledge of disabilities or the infrastructure requirements that would have to be arranged. The company was given an office on the first floor with no ramps or life. But this eventually changed as she took on more people in her team, and the entire experience was more of a learning process for her.
“We got an office which was on the first floor and there were no ramps and no lifts. People who came in actually made things happen. They said it doesn’t matter if you don’t have this, what we need is self-respect, dignity and independence. People started giving us a lot of learnings and over a period of time, we brought a lot of different changes,” says Pavithra.
The basic requirements that candidates must have are English and typing skills, but the most important – a positive attitude. The employees’ pay is on par with any other industry player. In the heartwarming video shot by CNBC, Pavithra introduces her employees and how they are their families’ breadwinners.
An employee named Nagrathna, who is physically disabled with dwarfism, supports her sister’s medical school education. Another employee named Vijay, who is without arms, started at an entry-level and is now a team leader, heading a team of about 30 people.
Vindhya also boasts of an esteemed clientele, the likes of YES Bank, Cognizant, Wipro, L&T Finance, and more. The BPO also provides lodging facilities for people who are from other parts of the country, as well as interest-free loans, a baby care centre, wheelchairs, assistive aide, and educational support of one child per employee.
Pavithra aims to set-up an inclusive campus where people with different kinds of disabilities can live and work. She also hopes to transform Vindhya into the largest BPO in India. Pavithra is also the recipient of Pavithra is the recipient of NITI Aayog’s Women Transforming India 2016 award and ‘Top 100 Women Achievers In India’ President Award 2016. Truly, well deserved.
Watch the full video here.