Nikki Kumar, 19, is speech impaired. She is learning graphic designing. "For a hearing and speech impaired person like me, finding a job is a tough nut to crack but I am undergoing the skill development which will surely bear fruits someday," she communicates, using sign language.
Like Nikki, many young boys and girls are undergoing these short-term job oriented programmes to start a career. These courses can fetch reasonably good jobs also, provided the institute has tied up with corporates which hire physically challenged students under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Says Meera Chetan Bhatia, who runs several short term programmes at her organisation, Sai Swayam Society in Karol Bagh, "We have placed our students in the back office processes of Genpact and HCL. There are several companies which show their willingness to hire hearing impaired people."
These people have good creative abilities and can in fact excel in IT-related areas, claim Bhatia. They must learn three kinds of skills before they step into the job market - writing skills and computer skills.
After gaining expertise in these domains, one stands a good chance to grab a job. "Some people might think that they can't make it to good corporate positions but mentally, these students are exactly like others. It's just that they can't speak and hear," says Bhanu Shree, a first year student of St Stephen's and a teacher at Sai Swayam Society.
In Delhi University also, several such programmes are being run at the Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) near Arts Faculty, north campus. There are further plans to introduce new courses like mass media, medical transcription and personality development at the EOC.
"Merely doing graduation doesn't fetch them jobs, so it's suggested that they should undergo some add-on courses to brighten their job prospects," says Dr Nisha Singh, spokesperson, Equal Opportunity Cell, Delhi University.