My experiences at Enable India – 1

I Raghavendra aged 28 years finished computer training in Enable India. Sharing my experiences and real thoughts with you.I lost my vision in the age of 25 years in an incident, i.e., Leather ball (cricket ball) hit my eyes and the optic nerve got disconnected and I became totally blind. At that time I was studying B B M 2nd year and was also working as Admin In charge cum customer support Executive in a Limited Transport company. I worked in that company for 10.8 months and resigned from the job in the year June 2006 due to my personal problems and also I have decided to be independent in life.

Though, I have sent several emails and worked in computers when I was working and was sighted, the letter now I am writing is an impressive letter for me. After losing the vision I thought working in computers or sending emails is no more in my life. But after coming to Enable India once again I joined in the list of web browsers. I wish to inform you that now independently I can send the mails and work in the computers.Apart from computer skills, I learnt more things after coming here like Braille, Mobility, and Employment Opportunities for the VI, Assistive tools for VI, General awareness, Good communication skill, Group discussions etc.

In Enable India I got the opportunity to make best friends and good networking who may be helpful in the future.I would like to say that one important change made in my life after joining Enable India. Before when I was working and studying, for each and everything I used to be dependent on others for Example:- to go outside, to take food, or in my daily routine work. Because even if I am  confident of doing  work or going outside, parent’s protection (love and affection) & friend’s support made me not to think about independent.

One incident made be to think that I should also be independent in life.   When I was working I got an opportunity to go to Bombay in the flight for attending one seminar regarding customer support job but my parents did not allow me to go alone though my management was taking care of myself,  This incident turned my life. I have decided to learn Mobility and computer skills. With the help of my Aunt I got the address of Enable India and came here.

Till I join Enable India, I don’t know the meaning of Cane but here they trained me in such a way that now I can go anywhere in India without anybody’s help.Coming to computer training part, I would like to indicate that the instructors are very friendly in nature and are putting their full efforts to make us understand by showing tactile diagrams and simple examples that are connected to our daily life. Even if we ask 10 times they are ready to explain.

Enable India provided Hostel facility for us. Before joining Enable India our parents were not allowing us to switch on the fan because there will be plug point. But when we joined the hostel and once I got used to that I feel more convenient and confident that I can do my work on my own   without taking anybody’s help. Now I am enjoying my life since I got released from protection life. Only I am losing my parent’s love and affection.  Rest of the thing is taken care of by our Enable India staff.

 I would like to tell one thing that In Enable India, right from our Managing Trustee to the Front office person, all are very friendly in nature, which help us to express any thing or clear the doubts. As a student I like to be naughty in nature & here my Managing Trustee likes very much when we are very naughty. This attitude helps us to feel that we are in our home.I am thankful  to you all  for giving me an opportunity to express my real feelings that I had in my heart and the changes made in my life from February 2007 i.e., after joining Enable India.

—  Raghavendra, blind computer trainee, Enable India batch of Feb – Sep 2007. Now working in people equity


All is well at Enable India

One of the biggest worries that a founder has for their organization is –> what is the culture in their organization? Is it driven by the right values? Will the organization sustain itself without the founder? Is it built only on the will of a couple of people or will it stand the test of time?
I have always hoped that all of us at Enable India work only for one purpose : FOR THE CLIENTS WHO ARE DISABLED. Everything and anything done by all of us has to be with that goal in mind. So for example, if I make a mistake, I expect to be given feedback for the benefit of our clients. If there is something which may be detrimental for our clients, it has to be pointed out and corrected. So I have consciously tried to create the culture by walking that talk. i.e you do as you say.. And from all indications, I was satisfied that we were on the right track. Recently, something helped reinforce this point.

A few months back we held our teachers training program for computer instructors for the blind. In this 21 day program, we build the capacity of computer trainers to teach computers to the blind. Since this is a very specialized field, we train them on the special teaching techniques, resource aids, build their attitude towards visually impaired and build their own overall skills. This was the fourth batch and was the first time that we got sponsorship thanks to IBM.

We conduct a rigorous evaluation to ensure that the right teachers come to the course. We only want those people who will be able to learn and benefit from the course to come. The wrong set of teachers will lead to wastage of other people’s time. It so happened that on DAY 1 of the training, we got around 18 teachers from around India but two teachers did not fit the requirements. We were really surprised because if they passed our evaluation they should be upto the mark. Later in the day , Vidya (who was conducting the program) along with me was trying to understand if there were some flaws in the evaluation or issues with correction of the evaluation etc.

That night, I received a phone call from Sivakumar (who is now our main computer trainer for the blind. He is a low vision person and is a product of the same computer course from the 2004 batch ). The call came at almost 10:30 pm and I was surprised. He had just returned from work and had his dinner (I think). He asks me “Ma’am, I heard that there are two teachers who are not upto the mark in the TTC (teachers training course). How did this happen? DID WE LOWER OUR STANDARD BECAUSE WE GOT FUNDING? I hope that is not the case!”

I was absolutely overjoyed. I was being questioned on whether we were doing the right thing for our clients? I replied that his fears were misplaced and we ourselves were trying to understand what had gone wrong. We then went on discuss the next steps and further actions we needed to do to ensure the course was on track as per our own high standards of quality! At 11:30 pm, we finished the call. I was exhausted but slept soundly knowing that “ALL IS WELL AT ENABLE INDIA”

——-  Shanti Raghavan, Founder and Managing Trustee, Enable India