Saying hello to hope

Prajith Jayapal (top left), founder of Divyang Foundation, on a video conference with the persons who have been employed by a mobile phone company as tele-callers.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For the past fifteen days, ten paraplegics in Kerala have been living a different life, one in which they could make a living for themselves for the first time in their life, with dignity. This was possible after they were recruited by a mobile phone company as tele-callers, and the credit for this idea goes to Prajith Jayapal from Kozhikode, a quadriplegic himself and the founder of Divyang Foundation.

“Nine of them have had spinal cord injuries while one had polio. They are all wheelchair-bound and had given up hope of being able to work ever again,” Prajith said and thanked the mobile phone company for approving his idea about recruiting differently abled people for jobs that do not require physical movement. All the ten are from different parts of the State and are working from home.

There is also another differently abled person who cannot speak, who has been entrusted with online marketing of the companies’ postpaid plans and projects through WhatsApp.

They were all trained through videoconferencing by the company. Their wages are commission based and will go up based on the sales they make every month. The company is also planning to fix their monthly salaries soon.

“I want these people to realise their abilities and one day bargain for their wages,” Prajith said.

Prajith, who was paralysed after a car crash in 2011, is known for his all-India trip a few years ago when he went to New Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to talk on the plight of the differently abled in the country. His plans for a world tour in 2020 and an International Ability Expo in Kerala in 2021 had to be postponed due to the pandemic. But Prajith has not given up on both.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 9:30:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/saying-hello-to-hope/article33966254.ece

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