“You can call me Anjy”, he says, with a broad grin on his face. Anjy is from Vikharabad, and he had never set foot in Hyderabad before his training at Youth4Jobs. The buildings, the fast moving traffic, buses that would not wait for him, people that looked at him with pity, others with curiosity or disdain. “I was very scared”, he admitted.ReadMore...
Prasad Babu cannot hear or speak, and when I ask him his name he proudly shows me his Lifestyle badge. He joined the company less than a month ago after finishing his training at Youth4Jobs, and the only thing that distinguishes him from the rest of the employees there is the sign on his shirt that says ‘I Understand Only Sign Language’..ReadMore...
"Hi, I’m Ayesha"
"Hello. I’m Mohd. Rafi"
"Mohd. Rafi! Like the singer! Do you also sing?"
Shy smile. “Yes, maybe there’s some truth about a name that instill qualities like the namesake in you." ReadMore...
They say hardwork and perseverance are the most important traits of any successful person. Trite, yet true in every walk of life, especially for Rajender here. ReadMore...
Srinivas hails from Ongol, and has been staying in Hyderabad since 2012. A calm and smiling young man who commands a respectable position as a Foreground Analyst at Thomson Reuters, he clearly demonstrates that with enough hard-work and determination, all roadblocks in the path of success can be easily brushed aside. ReadMore...
“You can call me Anjy”, he says, with a broad grin on his face. Anjy is from Vikharabad, and he had never set foot in Hyderabad before his training at Youth4Jobs. The buildings, the fast moving traffic, buses that would not wait for him, people that looked at him with pity, others with curiosity or disdain. “I was very scared”, he admitted.
Anjy had always been an enterprising child, working in a general store, then bakery to make ends meet for his family, which consisted of him and his mother. He earned around Rs. 700 - 1500 per month. His father died when he was little, and his mother, though supportive, was sad that her only son was disabled, meaning that she had to provide for him instead of the other way round.
He heard about Youth4Jobs from a friend at the Chilkur Balaji temple, who worked in one of their centers. “My prayers were answered”, he says. He called up the organization, where he spoke to Vijay Sir, who told him about the training they offered, and his job prospects after completing the training. Vijay picked him up on his arrival to Hyderabad, and took him to the center.
His batch had around 50 members, and he made friends quickly. They lived together in a hostel in Ameerpet, where he slowly got used to the city, and starting taking the buses and exploring Hyderabad with his new friends.
His first job was at Mcdonald's, where he worked for eight months before leaving for health reasons. He then applied for a position at Hypercity, and worked there for two years as a cashier.
The money was good, and he was able to send a large portion of it home to his mother.
“My mother would boast to her neighbors that her son is sending her money now, and that she could retire happily in her old age”. People who never spoke to him in the village would come up to him now to talk about his job and prospects. Anjy married a non disabled person he met while working at Hypercity, and is confident that he can provide for her and the future family.
What did Youth4Jobs teach him? “Grooming for a professional job”, he replies. “Speaking with respect. Saying ‘Excuse me’, ‘Thank you’. How to live well, speak well and earn well. What’s the word for it ma’am? Confidence. They gave me Confidence”, he smiles.
Prasad Babu cannot hear or speak, and when I ask him his name he proudly shows me his Lifestyle badge. He joined the company less than a month ago after finishing his training at Youth4Jobs, and the only thing that distinguishes him from the rest of the employees there is the sign on his shirt that says ‘I Understand Only Sign Language’.
Understanding sign language was also a difficulty that Prasad faced when he came to Hyderabad to undergo the training. Prasad studied in a special school only up till the tenth grade, and went to a normal school after. The teachers were not trained in sign language, nor were his other friends with no hearing disability. Added to that, his illiterate mother did not know sign language either so the gestures he learnt were very specific to his dialect and region. When he arrived for training, Prasad had to be taught the standard Indian sign language for communication, making his training harder than what his other hearing impaired batch mates had to go through.
All through school, Prasad was popular for his involvement in sports. Cricket, High jump, 100 meters, 400 meters - he did them all. His dream was to work in a job related to this field, but finding jobs was difficult. He enjoyed drawing as well and wanted to become an artist, but the training required money and his parents could not afford it, after taking care of him and his two younger brothers. The futile search for a job left him idle for three years, while his parents worried about his future.
At Youth4Jobs, Prasad felt that he benefited most from two areas of training - Spoken english and learning the standard sign language. Prasad had studied in a Telugu medium all his life and did not know any English. Learning the standard sign language helped him to communicate better with his hearing impaired peers as well as his employers who had been trained to use the standard sign language.
His new job at Lifestyle is not easy; the long hours spent standing, the discipline required on the job, the timings, but he is trying to make the best of it. Some day in the future, he wants to work in a job profile that could combine his love for sports, as well as fulfil his monetary needs.
He still has a few days to go before he gets his first salary. It is something that he is eagerly waiting for. All the hard work I have done this past month will be worth it, he indicates with expressive gestures and a smile.
"Hi, I’m Ayesha"
"Hello. I’m Mohd. Rafi"
"Mohd. Rafi! Like the singer! Do you also sing?"
Shy smile. “Yes, maybe there’s some truth about a name that instill qualities like the namesake in you."
That was how my conversation with Rafi began. When Rafi enters the room, you notice his presence, his calmness and his quiet strength, as also his positivity and clarity of thought. Rafi is from a small village called Kural, about 130 kms from Hyderabad. Today, he’s a Hindi Language Trainer at Tata Business Support Services, a premium BPO services company under Tata Sons, and is a very different person from the person he was just four years ago.
We’ve grown up reading and listening to real-life heroes, but there’s something magical about sitting down over a cup of tea and chatting with someone who hasn’t had it easy in life but has instead charted his own success through sheer grit, hard work and loads of passion.
Rafi in his early days as a child used to crawl to his school nearly 1km away, this was when he didn’t know of the existence or usage of crutches. There was simply no one in his village who knew what the right available options to him were. With his parents backing his desire to learn and educate himself come rain or shine, he studied and cleared his school in Telugu medium, and then went on to do his graduation and post-graduation in Hindi, followed with a B.Ed in Hindi. With these degrees under his belt, he arrived in Hyderabad to find a teaching job in the city. Numerous interviews, demo lessons and five months later, he was still hunting for one. Everyone said they’ll call him back, but no call ever came.
Disheartened and more than a little shattered in spirit, he went back to his village only to find a new lease of hope in the DRDA organized Velgu Festival for ‘Differently Abled People’. There he was told to come back to Secunderabad for the Sweekar Upkaar Job Fair where there would be others like him and a host of pre-selected opportunities which might be to his liking. That’s where he first interacted and was chosen as part of a group who then applied to TBSS for a job.
At his first formal interview, more than a little nervous he was confronted with the realities of a job in the professional sphere which required more than just the qualifications, it required computer skills, public speaking abilities, typing and much more. After failing to clear the first round of interviews, he met Vijay & Tapan who were IT professionals themselves but had started their own NGO, Youth4Jobs through which they wanted to empower and enable disabled to find placements in organizations. They made him and the group of 15-20 folks an offer; Training, Food and a Hostel for two months so that they could be better prepared for the jobs. Rafi doesn’t trust easily. His inhibitions about them genuinely carrying forward with their plan and finding success for him and the group made him reluctant to accept the offer. It took his brother’s convincing and nudging for him to accept and give it a shot.
For the next two months, they were groomed on public speaking, self-confidence, taught computer skills like typing and were placed in an environment which was conducive to them learning and getting exposed to a community of like-minded hard-working individuals all committed to making more out of their lives. As part of his training, he had the opportunity to a retired Army Major who was working with TBSS and was a mentor for the group’s program. Given Rafi’s extensive education background, fluent language skills, he was earmarked for the Trainer’s role even before he was informed of their decision. At the end of the course, when almost all of his friends had already been placed, when he found out where he had been placed, he was ecstatic with joy.
Rafi was the first Hindi language trainer at TBSS. Surprisingly 60-70% of the nation’s call centres are hindi-speaking but Hyderabad doesn’t have a large pool of well versed hindi speakers. He has since trained over a 1000 candidates, some of whom have become Trainers and Team Leads today. He is the only differently-abled trainer at TBSS. He spoke warmly about how the respect and admiration that he gets from his students keeps him going day after day. His eyes light up with joy when he recounts his first salary of Rs. 12,000/- which he handed over to his mother, who had never seen that much money in one moment. There is a strong pride in his voice when he talks about how the very same people who looked down on him in his youth now thump his back and talk about his success to every child and adult that they can find.
His is a story of one man fighting against the odds of society, inadequate infrastructure, and hardships, all successfully surmounted by his passion and dedication towards leading a happy life.
Srinivas hails from Ongol, and has been staying in Hyderabad since 2012. A calm and smiling young man who commands a respectable position as a Foreground Analyst at Thomson Reuters, he clearly demonstrates that with enough hard-work and determination, all roadblocks in the path of success can be easily brushed aside.
The only child of his parents - his father being a farmer and his mother handling mid-day meals at a school - he moved to Hyderabad with some of his friends upon being contacted by Youth4Jobs regarding available opportunities. Even his friends enjoy well-paying positions at companies like IDEA and different call centers.
He is happy he found an organization like Y4J, as the team identified his interests and trained him in English, soft-skills, retail and basic computer-usage, and later found a job befitting his qualifications. Infact, he has decided to give back to the same organization as he has volunteered to impart computer skills to newcomers at Y4J. His face brightens up as he says how his family is very happy with his current job and his salary of Rs.12000 per month.
Looking towards the future, he has his eyes set really high, aspiring to one day run his own retail business, akin to Hypercity, More Supermarket and the like. He goes to his village around 3-4 times a year, but whenever he does, he goes with a chest full of pride and a warm smile on his face owing to his new-found respect in the village.