This Pune NGO wants corporates to look at the abilities in disabled people
From job fairs to a professional training centre, Pune-based NGO Mitsan Foundation wants to equip disabled people with the skills needed to be on an equal footing in the job market.
They are young, disabled and out to show the world they are equal to others. Meet the team at Mitsan Foundation. This Pune-based NGO wants to equip people of various disability types with the skills they need for the job market and get them placed as well.
Mitsan Foundation founder Amit Sridhar, who has polio, is aware of the stereotypes about disabled people and wants to change that perception. Amit has a background in engineering and was motivated to start working with the disabled community about five years ago. He founded a recruitment firm called Gakaay Solutions, which caters to people with and without disabilities. Through Mitsan, Amit wants to promote social engagements.
About five years I faced some personal turmoil and had to start life from zero. I felt the need to work for people with disabilities. I started a recruitment firm that helps people with and without disabilities find jobs. Through Mitsan Foundation, I want to offer the disabled community a wider platform. – Amit Sridhar, Founder, Mitsan Foundation
Services free for disabled
This includes plans to start a professional training centre in specialised domains. The team at Mitsan Foundation is currently made up of disabled people but there are plans to hire non-disabled people. The idea is to have an inclusive set up.
“Our services will be free for disabled people”, says Amit. “Non-disabled people will be charged a fee. The idea is to encourage companies to regard disabled people from the point of view of their abilities and not disabilities”.
ENABLE CORPORATES TO BECOME ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED
Given the stereotypes towards disabled people and companies’ reluctance to embrace accessibility at the workplace, this will be a challenge. Mitsan Foundation plans to address this by helping companies make the workplace accessible.
Ummehani Bagasrawla has joined Mitsan Foundation as a recruiter in Mumbai. She believes that Mitsan Foundation’s approach will help change mindsets.
“Companies don’t look at disabled people through the lens of their skills and abilities”, says Ummehani, who is blind. “Even when they do hire a disabled person, they are given a certain role and forgotten about. At Mitsan Foundation, we plan make the disability secondary. We get to talk about our abilities”.
Vaibhav Padhye, a college student in Mumbai who has muscular dystrophy, has also joined the team as a recruiter. “It’s an opportunity to reach out to disabled people across India. I like the idea of enabling the community in this way”. Mitsan, says Vaibhav, has opened doors to a larger world. “Earlier my world was just studies and my home. I didn’t know my own skill as I never had the opportunity to discover them. I never imagined that I would have a chance to prove that as differently abled people we can be independent and have an equal right to live in society”.
Nidhi Ghosalia, who has cerebral palsy, is also a part-time recruiter here. “I am inspired by the Mitsan Foundation’s aim to give differently abled people equal opportunities. Such thinking is rare in today’s world”. Akanksha Patil, who has a physical disability, says working at Mitsan has given her the opportunity to be independent. “I now have an identity of my own and I enjoy networking with the disabled community. You realise that there are people facing many challenges and it motivates you to keep fighting”.