With the aim of creating sustainable livelihood options for underserved communities, Microsoft India formed a partnership with Aide et Action to provide support through grants that include cash, software and curriculum. Under an Institute for Livelihood, Education (iLEAD) program by Aide et Action (India), several people with disabilities were equipped with relevant Information Technology (IT) skills that enabled them to find jobs.
Many people with disabilities often have difficulties in finding employment due to their physical difficulties and the discrimination received from the community. iLEAD helps these people to overcome their disabilities by equipping them with relevant skills and matching them to available jobs from various job agencies.
Shanti Lal Sharma is one of the students from iLEAD Chittorgarh who benefitted from this program. Sharma lost both his hands in a work-related accident and this was the beginning of hardships for him as he was unable to make a living.
Following a district collector’s recommendation, Sharma joined the iLEAD program and was offered an Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) course based on his interest. Through the dedicated guidance from staff, he managed to learn how to operate a computer with his toes. After several attempts, Sharma successfully got a job as a data entry operator with the aid of iLEAD.
“The staff and batch mates were very supportive and played an important role in building my confidence. I was given special attention during the training and the environment at iLEAD has given me a positive outlook on life,” said Sharma.
Another beneficiary of the iLEAD program is Swedit Blessy, a speech and hearing impaired girl from a poor family in Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli. Blessy learnt how to use Microsoft® Office software, speak English and improved her typing skills. She is currently working in Franc Tech BPO as a data entry operator.
“I am privileged to have the opportunity to take up the ITES course at iLEAD. It has helped me overcome my shyness and increase my level of confidence,” said Blessy.
“The staff and batch mates were very supportive and played an important role in building my confidence. I was given special attention during the training and the environment at iLEAD has given me a positive outlook on life.”
– Shanti Lal Sharma, Beneficiary