When I zoomed into Vinayas Innovative Technology campus, the welcome reception wall carries vivid mural of banyan tree with thumb prints of employees branching with the company’s vision and mission statements. Mr. Narendra, Chairman of Vinayas said ‘’Deepa you will be accompanied by Ram for the site visit today and he is our best person handling the front office. Someone who never misses a single call at the reception. I heard a bright voice towards us ‘Hi Deepa Ma’am, Good Morning Nice to see you’. ‘I said ‘hello Ram, this is my first visit to Electronic Manufacturing unit and I’m excited’… Ram quickly walked us through each department and was extremely sharp with introducing everyone with their accurate names, job roles. Some gave us big smiles and some were busy bent working on printed PCB boards, inserting capacitors., soldering etc. I got to interact with Supervisors of each dept who shared the work flow and met many of their employees with different types disabilities who were star performers employed in various high precision jobs. Ram Appaiah was among the 14 others with intellectual disability who were employed at various dept in the company.
Sitting in board room with Narendra I learnt a lot about his leadership, and his vision towards inclusion and how it all begin with his father being the inspiration. Today Vinaya’s has 12% of its total workforce of diverse employees, they are the role model in enabling person with mental disabilities, the healthy and happy employees are leading path to many manufacturing companies follow their inclusion trend around Mysore.
My favorite moment was when I gotto click picture with the awesome 14 and management team, beaming with bright smile & totally charged up I zoomed to my next stop…
‘Samartha 2016’ is an annual event by Rotary Mysore Midtown, were industrialist, NGO’s and voluntary organization come together in highlighting importance of inclusivity and recognition for role model employers employing person with disabilities. I had chance to meet and interact with some enthusiastic and experienced Rotarian’s, the Club 15742 Dist 3180. Seated with the dignitaries I experience how Rotary Mysore Midtown was pioneering in several innovative and path breaking objectives in benchmarking projects benefitting the local communities, esp the initiatives taken to empower persons with intellectual disabilities has been diligent and outstanding.
I shared the stage with my Guru and mentor Shanti Raghavan …it was a moment of pride and emotions for me. As guest speaker, I took chance to highlight some of my learning as diversity lead and highlighted key diversity programs of EMC and our journey in this inclusion. The event concluded honoring Café Coffee Day and Emerald Jewelers for their outstanding work. During the networking dinner lots of parents and NGO’s shared their stories as to how these initiatives changed their lives for better and how some wanted opportunities who possessed BE, BTech qualifications.
The next day that’s the 20th of Feb, I was to visit a college and address 150 students, Zooming into the college campus I was lost in thoughts as to how I missed my college life with that the car halted to a big entrance that read ‘JSS POLYTECHNIC FOR DIFFERENTLY ABLED”. The principal’s room had a photo of buildings inaugurated by Former Honorable Prime Minister Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee on 3 rd January 1999. The state-of-the-art facilities provided accessible infrastructure, canteen facility, hostel accommodation and offered 6 main diploma courses – Electronics And Communications Engineering, Computer Science And Engineering, Architecture, Commercial Practice, Computer Applications for VI, Jewellery Design And Manufacture Technology.
Mr. Shekar Nagaiah Principal was so humble to walk me around the college campus explaining individual dept and introducing to lectures and sign language teachers. The event gathered 150 final year students of CS, I could see these bright students who will change the future of India soon, and some gave a bright smile and welcomed me with sign language. I shared my journey on how I self-taught my subjects most of my college life and emphasized of self-employment/ entrepreneurship for students who wanted to create their own. I struggled 3yrs to find my job but I was busy being a freelancer back then building website and flash designs for institutes, small firms and NGO’s… a time when WWW consortium was on boom. I told everyone to dream big and never underdetermine oneself., we need such bright talent across corporates and will be happy to spread the word on JSSPDA students to my corporate network. I received huge silent applause when I said I will get my MD ‘Sarv Saravanan’ and my boss ‘Chandrashekar Krishnamurty’ address the students soon. I left the stage with best wishes to all the students and I shall will keep visiting them often.
All this lovely experience was made possible by my dearest uncle Bhanuchandaran, this visit made realize we have an awesome and humble human being, philanthropist amongst our family., I was deeply moved to hear from every Rotarian and community talking so highly about uncle. Uncle is a strategic business consultant, SBC Consulting is led by him. Ex-President of Mysore Rotary’s award winning Rotarian and a very caring dad. I’m so thankful for him to invite tme to Samartha and JSS which brought about so much perceptive to my life and what I’ll be doing going forward, this experience has totally charged me up. Uncle surely won a heart of another daughter 🙂 Mysore will be close calls from now onwards.