According to a recent study conducted by a platform Equiv.in, there are over 1.34 crore differently-abled people who are capable of being employed. But out of this, only a mere 34 lakh people are employed. That also means almost 70% of differently-abled are unemployed.
This situation has worsened post the pandemic and lockdown. Did you also know that a major chunk of those who lost their jobs was also the differently-abled? That’s where Atypical advantage, a portal that offers job opportunities for differently-abled makes a huge difference.
Atypical advantage's founder Vineeth Saraiwala hails from Jamshedpur and is also the business executive of Future group.
Vineeth suffers from Retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic disorder of the eyes that causes loss of vision) but that didn’t dither him from coming up with a portal to help differently-abled. According to Vineeth, there are a lot of talents among the differently-abled who are not given an opportunity to showcase their abilities or make money out of it. During the pandemic, he says a lot of differently-abled had messaged him through social media asking for job opportunities. That in a way prompted Vineeth to create this platform.
The differently-abled can create a job profile in this portal. Vineeth with the help of several volunteers managed to create various job profiles for them. He spoke to their families to gather information about them. He also sought the help of social media and Nonprofit organizations to raise an ad for this purpose.
Everything was done on the phone - from gathering their photographs to translating the regional biodatas into English. In December 2020, the portal began with over 200 profiles in their kitty. The profiles belong to over 20 categories ranging from music, dance, photography, sign language translator, Physiotherapy, magic. The portal opened the floodgates, and they were finally able to find the jobs that were always denied to them.
The portal also provided a special guide for those who find it difficult to communicate with the recruiters. In fact, Vineeth and co are making sure they get great paychecks. Sheetal Tokyo Edelvis who has a hearing problem initially settled for a paltry Rs 500 for a 10-minute magic show. But the portal convinced Sheetal not to undersell her talent and got her on board striking a deal of Rs 4000 for her next show.
Pranav Bakshi who has autism managed to get a job as a graphic designer with a London-based company. Fifteen-year-old Tharuni Chadda who has a learning disability managed to get an opening as Amazon’s digital advertising model. Physiotherapist Alphia who has vision deficiency could find more patients in her clinic, thanks to the portal.
This platform also works as a space to sell the products made by the differently-abled. Kerala based Ajay Jayaprakash could sell 20 of his upside-down paintings through this platform. The portal also turned out to be greatly beneficial to Payal Shishrumal who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy.
Through Atypical advantage, the founders give out a clear message that what differently-abled require is not the world’s sympathy but a space to showcase and finance their talent. Vineeth implores us to treat differently-abled like how we treat an ordinary person, without sympathy or preconceived notions. There are over 450 profiles in their portal today.