Providing opportunities to become independent is better than giving money on charity. That’s the idea behind telecom service provider Vodafone’s ‘Project Dhrishti’ which aims at providing employment opportunity to the visually impaired and encouraging them to be self-dependent.
The project, which was started last year, celebrated its one year anniversary with the telecom company handing over Braille watches to the visually challenged in an celebratory event on Wednesday. “We always wanted to do something for the visually challenged. We wanted to give them opportunities where they don’t need to strain themselves yet work efficiently. That’s when we approached National Association for the Blind (NAB)and tried to work on it. We worked closely with the association and sorted out that call centre might work well as we were good in managing large call centres. Today we are very happy about the initiative as we are able to see fruitful results,” said Suresh Kumar, Business – Head, Tamil Nadu, Vodafone India. They are more focused and committed than normal workers, he added.
At the beginning of the project, 11 partially and fully visually-challenged agents of the NAB worked full-time in an out-bound call centre within the NAB, where they received their vocational training. The agents find it comfortable to work in this environment as they are trained well by Vodafone on Voice recognition system and are also equipped with relevant information in Braille notes. “We are very happy that we are given opportunities to enter the corporate field and stand on our own feet. We are trained well and provided with all the necessary information. There is no difficulty that one can find here, except convincing a customer on the phone,” said Kumar, a visually-challenged person who has been working at the centre for the last 11 months. Going forward, the Vodafone is planning to set up similar call centers and provide opportunity to other visually-challenged people. Their next project is in Madurai, where nine visually challenged agents have been trained.