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Oorjja equips disabled students with the skills needed to negotiate the corporate world

Located in Kochi in Kerala, Oorjja works exclusively towards creating a platform of opportunities for people with disabilities.

Oorjja have modelled themselves as an ecosystem to equip disabled students with the skills needed to negotiate the corporate world. The aim is to give them wings to fly!

When the idea of Oorjja first came to founder, S S Jayasankar, he decided to start with in-depth research on the different models that could make this venture a success.

We are purely an ecosystem for empowering the disabled community. We teach our students to gather confidence and stand on their own feet. We want to provide an environment of equal opportunity. In order to know more about such a model, I have been travelling across different places for the past few years. I visited many similar skill centres as well - S S Jayasankar, Founder, Oorjja

A partnership effort

Oorjja partners with many corporates to make this venture a success. Decision-makers from these companies take sessions at Oorjja. Once they find the right fit, they are given one-on-one training by these companies.

Oorjja is currently running their second batch with 11 students. The first batch had 10 students with hearing and speech impairments, all of whom found placements!

Oorjja plans to extend this to youth with all kinds of disabilities. These include students with learning disabilities, autism, and ADHD.

Oorjja runs on three perspectives. The first one being, only people above 18 years of age are given admission into Oorjja. They are fully trained and equipped to face the competitive world outside.

The second one works through internal revenue generation. While the classes are provided for a nominal fee to disabled students, Jayasankar asserts that Oorjja is not an NGO.

The organization tries to generate revenue through a professional work environment inside the institution. Students are taught designing, accounting and data visualisation assignments. The revenue is used for running Oorjja.

Students are taught through various assistive technology tools, software models, 3-D animation, and Microsoft tools. Each student is provided with a laptop with software and even WiFi!

The third one is to let know corporate companies that disabled students are talented and skilled, just like any one else.

Skills, not sympathy

Our faculty here are experts in their own field. They take part-time classes at Oorjja. They do not use sign language to communicate to our students. They try and communicate in their own ways. This will make them realize that differently-abled candidates are equally skilled like others. Once they start a corporate job, they can manage on their own. This has been successful - S S Jayasankar, Founder, Oorja

The joint partnership of Oorjja with corporate companies brings many benefits. The main one is that internship sessions are provided to disabled students. One of the biggest benefits of doing an internship is that the students are paid a stipend by the companies. This makes them feel confident and independent.

Oorjja does not run on sympathy, just pure skills and talent. The team urges corporates to think beyond financial assistance and and look at the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) aspect.

To know more about Oorjja, click here - http://oorjja.org/

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