Anything’s Possible.. Stories of change 1

Kiran (Background) with Batchmates outside CCD, Mayur Vihar

 

One of the best aspects of my job is catching up with trainees whom we have placed. At the weekend, a couple of friends and I took a break from Christmas shopping to revive ourselves with a much needed caffeine fix. Dodging the Santas, reindeer, grottos and shoppers of V3S Mall in Vikas Marg we dropped in on Kiran, an ex trainee of Batch 42.  Kiran is a smart 22 year old who had completed her XII pass education from a government school in 2006.  The daughter of a former vegetable vendor now working away from home as a labourer in Himachal Pradesh, Kiran is the eldest of four siblings, one of whom suffers from epilepsy. She  is pursuing a degree course through correspondence but was also keen to work to supplement the family income.  A childhood accident untreated had left one leg shorter than the other; her aunt had dropped her as a baby and covered up the accident, scared of getting into trouble. Kiran, though bright and positive in outlook felt that employers would not hire someone with such an obvious disability. Kiran and her mother had worked at night eking  out a meager living embroidering clothes at home, a cramped single room shared by Kiran’s mother and all four children

Kiran joined ETASHA’s CSWC program in June 2010 to help her work towards a career in the service sector, after hearing that call centres were encouraging physically challenged applicants.  She had not considered hospitality until one of ETASHA’s Social Confidence visit brought her to a Café Coffee Day outlet in Mayur Vihar, Delhi.  Kiran, naturally sociable, loved the environment,  and felt that this was the kind of place she wanted to work. She was amazed to discover that under Café Coffee Day’s CSR work with ETASHA there may be a chance to join. After completing the program we arranged interviews for Kiran with both Nirula’s and Café Coffee Day and after being offered positions with both she joined the latter in September 2010.

Now the chief breadwinner, she is effectively the ‘man’ of the family in her  father’s absence. She still however hands over her entire salary to her mother but  this  has given her a greater say in the decision making process of the family.

When I caught up with her she was flying around the Café Coffee Day where she works 5 days a week, impervious to any looks her limp may or may not be attracting from the noisy college students and families ordering the cappuccinos, lattes and samosas, with the tinny Christmas carols serving as background music.

Kiran, warm and open, is pleased to see me, as I am to see her, but a girl’s gotta earn a crust and there’s little time for us to catch up.  We spoke just long enough for me to know that she is L-O-V-I-N-G the job, her colleagues, the hustle bustle of the coffee shop and of course the salary –  (Kiran earns a monthly salary of Rs7100 per month, more than her father has ever earned).

Almost 5 months after taking the job Kiran says she has learned not to take things for granted and is more optimistic about the treatment of the physically challenged.  “I always felt there was a limit to what I could do, and to what others would let me do.  Now I know that anything is possible.” A future in hospitality management seems real to Kiran now and she has an aim to work towards.  “I realise now that the barriers were in my head, so now I won’t let that happen again.” She beams, and skips off as she spies a new recruit she is training struggling with a customer’s enquiry.

Me, foreground, not outside CCD, Mayur Vihar

Ian, Dec 2010

8 thoughts on “Anything’s Possible.. Stories of change 1”

  1. Hey! you took me down memory lane….am so proud of Kiran!! I remember when I used to take selling skills and pronunciation with this batch, Kiran was always so concerned whether her ‘sh’ sounded perfect or not or would fret over her pronunciation of television that was just not happening!! She would do great art work on the chart for the group presentation.

    Looking forward to meeting her soon!! Parul

  2. hiiiiiii i read his story …i m very proud of him & i know the teachers of etasha is very helpful..i miss all my my teachers.

  3. Feeling great for being able browse again on Etasha’s Blog page and reading one of many stories about achievements by many students at ETASHA and the guiding force behind them, the trainer’s at ETASHA.. Remember I also had got a chance to meet Kiran and other student’s in the photo somewhere back in July’2010.. 🙂
    All the Best…
    -Puneet

  4. Almost 5 months after taking the job Kiran says she has learned not to take things for granted and is more optimistic about the treatment of the physically challenged. “I always felt there was a limit to what I could do, and to what others would let me do. Now I know that anything is possible.” A future in hospitality management seems real to Kiran now and she has an aim to work towards. “I realise now that the barriers were in my head, so now I won’t let that happen again.” She beams, and skips off as she spies a new recruit she is training struggling with a customer’s enquiry.

    1. Dear Kaj,
      You have added another proud and happy moment for us.
      Thank You for the encouraging words and letting us see our trainees rise and shine in their lives
      ETASHA Team

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