“If technology can bring people together, it can also bring about a change,” says Sathasivam Kannupayan (28), who has created a website - www.enabled.in - for differently-abled to network, motivate, teach and empower them.
Open Source has been doing wonders to wannabe innovators and entrepreneurs, like Sathasivam, who has completed MCA from the University of Madras. He has been exploring open source to help differently-abled persons like him land up in jobs in IT and ITES. Sathasivam is supported by First Planet in this venture.
The website has a host of informative links exclusively for differently-abled persons. Videos which carry stories of achievers who are differently-abled, interviews that speak of officials who made it to the top despite the challenge, a pool of information to enlighten users on various avenues, education options, aiding products, government policies, workshops, discussion, etc.
“I have met a lot of people in the past two years, who have carved a niche for themselves in spite of the disability. There are Government officials, entrepreneurs, activists, educationists, sports persons and artistes whose life is an inspiration by itself. The website has their tales,” says Mr. Sathasivam.
The website also has job posting facility connecting employer and the potential employee. Web-users can also develop their e-portfolio through the website which can be in writing and audio-visual format. “Branding oneself is important in the current scenario,” he adds.
“The main drawback among differently-abled is their low confidence. Though they are technically sound, they lack in soft skills. The website advocates honing their communication skill,” says this Salem-based youth.
The aim is to create 1,000 jobs for differently-abled by the end of this year, says Sathasivam. “The plan is to target the rural youth and throw light on the job opportunities available to them in IT.”
enabled.in has details on sports activities that can benefit the challenged. “There are many sportspersons with physical challenges and many special sports such as wheel chair tennis and cricket for the visually challenged,” notes Mr. Sathasivam, who is a wheel chair tennis player. “I want to attract children to be part of such sports,” as they can get trained from a younger age.
The website, which is in Tamil and English, has space for sharing and discussion through social networking. It is also powered with mobile application. The website already has 100 members. enabled.in will also release a magazine, with the contents of the website.