Service sector skilling for persons with disabilities

COVID-19 lockdown and uncertainty not a barrier for skill training

Overcoming a life bereft of any sound calls for a steely determination and uninterrupted focus. Young Itika Biswas, hailing from Rajarhat, North 24 Parganas, has demonstrated just that! Born with 80% hearing impairment Itika is the youngest daughter in the family of four i.e.  Father, mother, an elder sister. Her father is the only earning member in the family with a meagre monthly income of Rs. 17,000/-.

Itika pursued her studies with great determination and completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2019. Itika had a goal, but her disability was proving to be the biggest obstacle until she was contacted by Sarthak Educational Trust. Itika joined the Cognizant Foundation supported virtual training program organized by Sarthak in April, 2020.

The virtual training, conducted amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, helped her to acquire good communication skills, Computer skills, basic professional etiquette and English language communication. She also received industrial knowledge which could make her a prospective candidate for employment. She was also trained on life skills – such as keys of being a good employee, time management, goal setting and groomed on virtual and one-on-one communication. She is passionate to work in the Retail sector. Now Itika is very excited about her future and is working hard on her skills to get a job placement.

Cognizant Foundation has been supporting the skilling of persons with disabilities like Itika. The various projects supported by the Foundation in recent years seek to empower and enable the disadvantaged persons with disabilities by providing them with skill training on various trades with a focus on gainful employment. The skills training have been implemented in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. CF has partnered with Cheshire Disability Trust, Cheshire Homes, Dr Reddy’s Foundation and Sarthak Educational Trust to reach out to and empower these persons with disabilities.