Jobs for the Disabled, All Thanks to Kasim
CHENNAI: With a bright smile, 21-year old Ancel Shajji from Kerala showed off his offer letter to his teachers at the St Louis Institute for the Deaf. Shajji’s teachers said that his excellent design skills had helped him get a job at a corporate company. All the five members of Shajji’s family have hearing disabilities and he has made them all proud by becoming the first graduate in the family.
Now, Shajji’s aim is to help his school-going sisters achieve their dreams as well. “I want them to know that no dream is too big to achieve,” he told CE.
Out of 90 students, Shajji was one among the 71 students at St Louis institute to get placed this year. Just four people were given placements last year. All students credited their success to Kasim Basith, their trainer, and also head of Info Tech training centre.
St Louis had a tied up with Basith’s institute to train and also ensure job opportunities for the students. At a certificate distribution event, the highly elated students ‘signed’ their gratitude to Kasim. The students were not alone; the teachers at the institute and the company heads who had come for placements also gave him a standing ovation.
Speaking to City Express, Kasim said that when the programme was launched last year, he was disappointed that he could only place four students. “I ran from pillar-to-post but managed to get only four placements. But this year, I got in touch with all my corporate friends and in turn asked them to spread the word to other companies and then organised a job fair,” smiles Kasim. “Though 19 students still don’t have jobs, I haven’t given up. I told them to hold on and wait for some good news.”
After having achieved such a high placement rate, Kasim’s aim for next year is to improve not just the number of companies but also the quality of companies. “Even this year, students have landed jobs with `10,000-15,000 payment packages and companies from Bengaluru too participated in our job fair, but we want next year to be better,” he explained.
City Express asked 23-year-old Keerthana Mary whether she felt like she wanted to give up during the placements. She nodded her head vigorously, and when we looked lost, her teacher said, “She said she was always confident that she would be able to do it. Nothing has ever stopped her.”
Aptly titled ‘We are your voice’, Kasim’s campaign for job placements for people with hearing disabilities is giving students a much-needed boost of confidence to fight stigma in the society.