Sai Swayam Society started as a Non Governmental Organisation in 2006 under the zeal and passion of its founder, Mrs Meera C. Bhatia. Aimed at empowering the Speech and Hearing Impaired (SHI), this organisation focuses on targeted skill development and training, educational aid, and placement of PwDs in independent jobs. The organisation also endeavours to spread the knowledge and need of the use of Indian Sign Language.
AIM: To empower the Speech and Hearing Impaired community in all spheres of their lives, beginning with financial independence. To make them feel capable and confident while dealing with the society and facilitating multifaceted growth.
WORK: We train the students in developing faculties that will, if not ascertain, at least increase their employability. For this we give targeted skill development training, along with educational aid. A detailed list of the diverse arenas we provide training in can be found below:
- Coaching for classes X and XII to help students complete their schooling successfully.
- Coaching for B. Com. and B.A.to help increase the number of graduates in the SHI community
- Basic English and Basic Mathematics classes for persons between the age group of 14-38 years to help facilitate day to day activities
- Helping students to get a command on Microsoft Word and easily access and use the internet
- Coaching for Competitive Government Exams (SSC, DSSB, Banks)
- Training for employment in the Retail Industry
- Beauty and Wellness
- Personality Development and Soft Skills
The abovementioned skill-sets facilitate employability and build confidence among the SHI. To know that one can fend for himself and can contribute productively to the workings of the world plants seeds of such resilience in an individual that all future hurdles are dealt with conviction and faith. It is therefore very important that the members of the SHI community feel such empowerment in their nerves.
VISION: Sai Swayam Society envisions a society where all human beings are treated equally and respectfully, where they are valued for who they are, where the gap between the hearing and the deaf is bridged by effective use of sign language and people are sensitised enough to accommodate such differences. A world where the SHI community is able to communicate comfortably, feels integrated and involved and lives wholesome lives. A world where no deaf or mute child is made to feel inferior or disregarded and there are adequate ventures for them to live productive and healthy lives.
VALUES: In its essence, the organisation stands for equality: a very basic value of facilitating equal treatment to every individual. Knowing that the SHI community has faced stigma for years, the journey of achieving equality would be tenuous and full of hurdles, but our organisation and our Founder not only believed but also exercised the aptly said quotation that the journey of a thousand miles begins but with a single step. Systematic planning, negotiating with partners to collaborate, constant coaching and counselling, emotional, metal, and temporal investment, all of this to plant the seeds of a more egalitarian and inclusive society for the SHI community.
The organisation also stands for perseverance and patience. Starting as a ‘one-room’ organisation in 2006, Sai Swayam Society has now expanded country wide, opening 9 centres across India. All of these centres have been built on the foundation of hardwork, diligent lobbying with the deaf community as well as donors, constant work on the students studying to see better results of the organisation, demanding better implementation of schemes, and working to enforce the smooth functioning of these centres. Years of lonely hardwork and a strong lamp of faith has been passed among the organisation between team members, students and our founder only to reinforce that nothing great happens overnight. Sai Swayam Society is an embodiment of resilience in the face of hardships and will continue to contribute for the SHI community in all ways possible.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:
Our organisation believes in wholesome development of individuals. To live fulfilled and truly empowered lives, our organisation conducts the following activities:
- Financial Literacy
- Personality Development
- Medical and Hygiene related workshops
- Providing mental and emotional support
- Engaging in nature friendly ventures like maintaining a garden and instilling environment-friendliness in the children
PLACEMENT AND IMPACT:
- Scale of impact-
Placement of over 10,500 SHI students from locations all across India ranging from Jammu to Chennai and Jamnagar to Shillong has created an all India impact. It also implies sensitization of staff members of all the employers/organizations. From a small one room organization SSS now has training centres in 9 cities across India.
- Empanelment with the state-
SSS is an empaneled Skill Training Partner with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (MSJE) since 2016 under the National Action Plan. This also allows trainees to appear for NSDC examination and hence received a state certified certification for the training received at SSS, adding nation wide credibility and security.
- Sustainability of program -
The fact that most of our partner employers set up a system of continuous hiring of EwDs (Employees with Disabilities) is a testimony of the quality of employees, high retention of employees and the economic feasibility as well as sustainability of the program. A retention of over 80% of SSS trainees in job showcases the effectiveness of the program.
- Employer involvement-
The success of the PwD employment program led to the employers taking onus of forwarding this cause and going beyond the basic needs. A case in point can be Lemon Tree Hotels, Vishal Mega Mart and Shoppers Stop who partnered with SSS to convert all their training content for their potential EwDs in ISL to ensure self sustenance of recruitment. Further, LTH and SS got ISL Training and Certification courses designed for all their hearing staff members in different locations by SSS to ensure seamless communication between the hearing and deaf staff.
- Diversity of job roles -
The first stints with employment of PwDs(Persons with Disabilities) in the private sector began somewhere in 2008 in Café Coffee Day. From then, SSS has been a spear header in not just increasing the number of EwDs but more importantly in evolving the job roles offered to them. While it began with Food & Beverages section of restaurants, as of 2018 PwDs join job roles such as Customer Service Associates, Data Entry Operators and Kitchen Stewarding In charge. Some recent additions are mobile operator and beauty and wellness experts.
- Implementation of key government schemes -
In the recent years the government recognised the importance of skill training and employment of PwDs and hence launched various schemes with ambitious targets. SSS proudly partnered with the state to implement schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, National Urban Livelihood Mission, SIPDA (Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disabilities Act), Sector Skill Council for PwD.
- Public Sensitization -
The biggest challenge face by SHI individuals is that of communication barrier. Sign Language is the only medium to bridge this. Hence, SSS regularly organizes Basic ISL Sessions for general public, high school students and local doctors. Triggered by cases of legal injustice to SHI people due to communication barrier, some of the key endeavours of SSS were sessions for the Delhi Police and advocate, lawyers of the District Courts of Delhi.