Thanks to my friend,I registered for IIS this time and absolutely glad I did that. It is a conference aimed at making our country more inclusive for differently abled people. I was not exactly sure what to expect, but I knew there would be talks from inspiring speakers and was looking forward to that
As we reached the venue, it was buzzing with lot of energy and positivity. There were lot of organizations, NGOs, NPOs, representatives and individuals who cared for the society
Each of the speaker was so inspiring as they went about narrating their success story..
Ajit Babu is a young entreprenuer who has celebral palsy, but he rejected job under disability quota and went ahead to be the founder of 3 startups.. The message he had for all is, do not differentiate..they are no differnet from the so called normal people.. All of us have some obstacle in life and we still know how to thrive!!
the most moving story for me, was of Mr.Bhavesh Bhatia, the founder of Sunrise Candles. Coming from a very poor background, he started with selling few candles as a street hawker..with whatever he earned, he wanted to give some means of living to other blind kids like him, who resorted to begging to earn a living.. He showed a way to live a decent life and be self succient to so many blind people through his company!! One thing he stressed is he never asked for any charity/donations and will never want it!! He says give us work and we will work hard and prove that we are no different than others!! Something to learn from his story is that we dont need to have lots of riches to help others, the thought and intention is enough!! And that if have a strong will and work hard, we can achieve our dream! He remebers his father’s words “what if you cant see the world, do something that the world will see you”
Then there were persons like Patu Keswani, currently the chairman and MD of Lemon Tree Hotels. He narrated his story of how he went about hiring differently abled people and now 15% of his employees are from the disadvantaged section of the population. He was saying that it was not easy, as all the training modules had to be revamped to cater to the needs of specially abled. There were many sessions and one-on-ones to be done to the already existing employees to bring a change in their attitude. He mentions that he never wanted it to be charity, each employee was rated based on their performance and everyone was equal. The employees of Lemon Tree showed great satisfaction to be a part of such organization which was so inclusive and that reduced the attrition rate too. My takeaway from his story is that everyone can make a difference, even if your aim is only business and you do not want charity.
Another inspiring speaker was NipunMalhotra, born with arthrogryposis, leading to lack of muscles in arms and legs. The doctors resigned saying he will be living the life of a wooden doll, but he proved them wrong. He is the CEO of Nipman foundation, working for the health, dignity and happiness of persons with disabilities.
Then there is this youngster Kalyani Khona, who created a matchmaking and dating app for differnetly abled – something which is not even considered as important. What she says is if you have an idea, dont think of the hows and whats, take the first step and everything will be alright!! 🙂 the world will be an interesting place only when everyone and everything is different, otherwise it will be boring!! We should learn to appreciate and celebrate the differneces!!
Hans Dalal is the founder of PROWL, works in preserving tigers,safegaurding their territories, taking care of tribals and much much more..as he went about explaining what his team does, I was speechless as to how much a single person can do. We can see the passion in his eyes and words..hatsoff to this man!!
Prahlad Kakkar was also among the speakers..He went about saying how he used his dyslexia to his advantage..as a kid he had difficulty concentrating in classes, wud be day dreaming and now he gets paid to dream and just dream!! He went ahead addressing the audience, that special people are special as they have some gift from God, and we should not try to make them normal like everyone else..
I am not able to write about all the speakers as I could not stay for the entire summit…go ahead and visit their website to know more..
One thing I learnt from all of them is that each one of us have some or the other hurdles and obstacles in life…we should learn to not complain and celebrate life the way it is !!! Appreciate life!! Appreciate people who stand by your side!! Inspite of the bad things happening around, understand that there is still so much good in the world!!! 😊😊