There can be no substitute to standing on your own two feet. It boosts one’s confidence and instils a sense of freedom. And for some, it opens the doors for new life and new hope. With this in mind, Sri Sakthi Academy, Saidapet, has initiated a Work Unit for special people, which provides them an opportunity to earn their living.
Shiyamala Mohan, founder of the academy, says, “In the past five years since the inception, this academy for special children has seen children pulling off exams and vocational training with élan. But when it came to scaling the next level – ‘job’, the society failed them.” There was no flexibility or state of mind to seeing through their ability, she laments adding that the ‘work unit’ is aimed at giving them a platform to use their talents and thereby elevating them to an independent living. Having undergone training already as students of academy, the 23 odd employees are now working on corporate gifts articles, jute bags, terracotta jewellery and painting. The place is also open to enrolling other special adults, who will be trained before absorption. They are paid a monthly salary of Rs. 2000. The timings are flexible, where they have to cover a three-hour of work and they don’t have work continuously as well.
The organisation, which is presently supported by corporates such as Tata Gold Plus for gift orders, is approaching colleges for stalls and campus shops. The employees are trained in money transaction, functional literacy, stay-put tolerance, achieving concentration and time sense. Hence, they can even handle grocery shops, canteen and photo-copy units, say the trainers of the institution. Plans are on to offer them ‘white-collar jobs’ as they have been trained in data entry and graphic designing (such as visiting cards and logo). “We are also trying to help them achieve punctuality, perfection and personal hygiene, so they can be integrated in other firms as well,” says the founder.
“Keeping them engaged itself will solve many of the emotional and behavioural problems. They are comfortable when they have a routine. Money is just to motivate them, but boosting their self-respect is the vision of this initiative,” says Ms. Shiyamala.
The unit can be reached at Sri Sakthi Academy, 10/2 South Avenue, Srinagar Colony, Saidapet. Phone 044-22201439 / 9444561025.