Tech Mahindra Foundation’s ARISE+, a programme focusing on school education for persons with disabilities in the age group of 3-18 years, supports organisations working with the children to help them thrive despite their challenges and prepare them for the future.
Nitin, who prefers to go by his first name alone, lost his eyesight when he was just stepping out of his teens. His father, a farmer in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh, lacked the resources that could help provide Nitin with the special equipment he needed to continue his studies. However, the boy was very good in academics.
This was the time when he heard of the Tech Mahindra Foundation’s ARISE+ programme, which was specially tailored to help the differently abled. The programme provided him with books in Braille, allowing him to keep up with the curriculum. Nitin completed his class 12 with 86.8% in the board examinations and cleared the prestigious JEE (Joint Engineering Examination) exam securing a general rank of 163. Today, he is pursuing his B.Tech degree from a prestigious engineering college.
Like Nitin, over 37,033 differently abled students across the country have been able to take advantage of the ARISE+ programme. The programme has not only given wings to the dreams of these children but also helped them access platforms to hone their talents and skills. It has also allowed them to showcase their potential on the world stage. Gokul Srinivas Subramanian is a good example. Diagnosed with Autism at the age of five, his parents could not put him in the special school he needed because of their limited means. Gokul joined one of the Tech Mahindra Foundation’s ARISE+ schools, where his potential as a swimmer was quickly spotted. The Foundation supported him with a proper diet plan, nutrition programme and training. In 2019, Gokul bagged a Gold medal in the 1,500 metres and came in second in the 800 metres freestyle swimming competition at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Another heart-warming case is Trupti Tamhankari, a speech and hearing-impaired student from the ARISE+ school Usha Jamnerkar Mookdhwani Vidyalaya in Ville Parle, Mumbai. Coming from a financially unstable family, Trupti lived in poverty before the intervention of the Foundation. At school, she was exposed to martial arts as a form of self-expression, and she picked it up very quickly. She regularly practices the form and is amongst the first few special children to appear for the black belt examination. Trupti aspires to be a Martial Arts teacher once she completes her education.
ARISE+ focuses on nurturing the potential of children with disabilities at an early stage. It also helps them access employment avenues. The motto of the programme is to facilitate equal opportunity at an early stage for a better tomorrow. A component of the programme is on providing market-related skills and opportunities to the differently-abled youth so that they can turn into entrepreneurs or find gainful employment with firms. Over 9,048 youths have been equipped with skill development training since the programme was launched in 2013.
Young people like Firoz Malik, the son of a daily wage labourer from Seelampur in East Delhi, has changed his life with this training. Hearing-impaired since birth, Firoz had limited access to school education. His parents were worried about how Firoz would make ends meet in the long run. Their worry led Firoz to enroll him in the hospitality course at a SMART+ Centre in Delhi. Soon after completing his training, Firoz started working as a Wishmaster-Delivery Executive. Through hand signs he conveys his pride at being gainfully employed, “I never thought of being an employee of such a big brand like Flipkart.”
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