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A call centre run by the visually impaired

Welcome to India’s only call centre manned exclusively by the visually impaired. Aditya Ghosh reports.
Hindustan Times | By Aditya Ghosh, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 16, 2008 01:53 AM IST

Mangesh, Aparna, Nikita, Mahesh and Nasir are all call centre operators — with a difference. They are blind. Welcome to India’s only call centre manned exclusively by the visually impaired, in Mumbai’s Worli Sea Face. Started in June last year with six operators, the number of employees has more than tripled — and is 20 now. They take 100 calls a day, transcribe medical data, screen resumes and even organise interviews.

Reena Chaddha, project manager, Tata Indicom, which runs the centre at the National Association of Blinds (NAB), says similar centres will be set up in Ahmedabad and Delhi soon.

Suhas Karnik, in charge of NAB’s employment cell, explains how the call centre operates: “A software reads out everything on a computer screen aided by specially designed voice-based commands used in the call centres, compatible with mobiles. These enhance the capabilities of the visually challenged,” he says.

Take Mangesh Indulkar, 27, who does not mind travelling 60 km a day between Kalwa and Worli. “This is the best thing that has happened to me,” he says. “Other sectors have discouraged people like us. Now I can have a McBurger whenever I want,” adds the self-confessed fast food fan.

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