People First Organisation was started in 2014. It works on various states in India – Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra. Basically, we have a tie-up with an organisation which is engaged in skill development activities, i.e., intelligence manpower services. They conduct counselling and mobilisation of people with disability.
We train people in government-based skill facilities. They are enrolled and given training for one or two months in the retail sector. We try to teach them various skill sets like typing, soft skills, manners, behaviour – all these are developed. After that we try to place them in BPOs – where they will have to work from the desk. So, that they do not have to move and can just sit and work.
There are various BPOs who have a mandate for disabled candidates and are willing to employ them. Companies like ICCS Ltd Noida, Urgent B Services, Aegis, Karvy Corporate – they are some of the examples.
One of the main conditions is that they need to have passed the Class 10 exam. Also, there are age limitations — candidates should be 18-35 years of age to be eligible. Even if they are above 35, they might be considered if they look younger. Also, they need to provide the documentation necessary to receive their salary.
Those who have educational qualifications below 10th level, they can be placed in manufacturing sectors – like making of LED bulbs, chargers, packaging. There, 6th pass candidates are also welcomed.
We also conduct awareness programmes for which we have received funds from the government as well. Also, private organisation like Indian Oil and banks have funded us. In Bihar, government has provided numerous facilities for the disabled. So much so, that even if they don’t work they will survive. There are many schemes for them. Every state should incorporate such schemes.
Varsha Chauhan works for the placement of disable people in association with People First Foundation
(People First Foundation was established in 2014. It works for the empowerment, employment, integration and rights of people with disabilities)
As told to Shruti Das
Lost in the crowd
I joined the Army in 1965. In 1975, I took voluntary retirement because my mother was sick. I went back to my village in Kerala. A few years later my mother passed away, so I came to Delhi. Now I am 75.
I started working in hotels and travel agencies, living in a rented apartment. Two years back, I met with an accident. I fell from a two-storey building where I was taking shelter. I fractured my back bone and hip bone. These injuries were so debilitating, I lost the capability to walk. Thus, I was not being able to continue working for a living.
One army personnel helped me. He took me to Army R&R Hospital, where I was operated. Then he left me there. I could not return home. I could barely climb up the stairs – and when I had to do so my legs would start paining. So I used to sleep in the balcony.
By then I had no money, so I had to take recourse to begging. Also, I don’t receive any pension for serving in the defence services because I need to have minimum 12 years of service to avail the facility. But I put in only 10 years of service.
When I was hospitalised, one operation in the hipbone was done, but one more is needed. I want to get it done from the Army hospital for free. But I do not know how to go about it. I am not married – so I have no family, no relatives as well.
The only help I get from the government is the preliminary grant – according to which I get Rs 4,000 per month. But I cannot pay even the rent, nor food from this meagre amount. I am living on the streets and am not able to work due to my condition.
Peedhambharan is an ex-serviceman
As told to Shruti Das