Blog by Apu Gayen, Senior Soft Skill Trainer, SAVE
It was a hot summer day. I was returning from my workplace by bus. The bus was crowded and I found myself standing beside a seat reserved for persons with disabilities. Suddenly I felt someone touching my feet. I noticed the girl on the seat bending down. I recognized the twinkling eyes and shy smile immediately. Moyna was a student of mine at Anudip’s Specially Abled Vocational Education (SAVE) Programme. I was overwhelmed by her behavior. She offered her seat to me and as I declined, I embarked on a conversation with her.
A shy young girl with congenital deformities in both upper arms but with spirits touching the sky – she dared to go against gender norms, countless biases, and entrenched social belief which are shackles that bind many like her.
In her quest to contribute towards the economic upliftment of her family, Moyna was able to travel the 94 km from her home in Gopiballavpur village of the Jangalmahal area of West Bengal to Anudip’s SAVE center at Debra, West Midnapore to develop employable skills, only by virtue of her rock solid grit and determination. She stayed at a close-by rented room, away from home, with ten other girls and learnt how to use the computer and communicate in English in the corporate world.
After 3 months of training and practice, employment opportunities in Kolkata came her way and she joined Minacs Pvt. Ltd. as a Customer Service Executive with a modest salary of INR 6000 per month. She knew the meager 2000 rupees she was able to send back home would mean a lot to her family.
One and a half years later today, Moyna earns INR 12000 per month and is the principal earning member of her family. She is extremely thankful to Anudip for the opportunity and was overjoyed to come across me on her way to work.
Needless to say, the pride and fulfillment I experienced cannot be expressed in words. Moyna, truly was a reflection of courage, success and inspiration.