Kalam,through Target 3 billion shares his vision to create 3 billion empowered, productive and healthy citizens and to eradicate poverty from the world.
He says, overcoming the prejudices of prosperity and fundamental human living standards is a significant national challenge as well as an international responsibilty that we all share.
With the aim to meet UN’s sustainable development goals and take responsibility as leaders of change a small group of students at Vellore Institute of Technology,India have gathered to bridge the skill and monetary gap between the visually impaired and the rest.
To assess the needs of our target audience, i.e., the visually impaired, we did a gap analysis based on the skill difference. After intensive ground work and visiting various facilities like the National Institute of Visually Handicapped (Chennai), District Office for Welfare of Disabled (Vellore), Christian Counselling Centre and Institute for Human Relations Counselling and Psychotherapy (Vellore), and meeting with various stakeholders in welfare for blind, we mapped out a plan and laid the key guidelines for the project.
We came to realize that even though there was a minimal to no discernable skill gap, the monetary gap was huge, primarily due to lack of employment opportunities. Although the lack of such opportunities are a result of social stigma and limited scope, justice is not being done to them and it is significantly highlighted by the fact that even scholars with master’s degrees and some even with doctorates are often seen on local trains around Vellore, Chennai and major districts of Tamil Nadu selling nuts and other small commodities just to make their daily bread.
The need, therefore, for employment arose not only due to an economic gap but also due to psychological factors and the way our society looks at handicaps. When people are forced to do menial jobs even though they are overqualified, it is a tremendous underestimate of their abilities as a result of which they might have lowered self esteems and massive inferiority complexes. We aim to utilise the biggest kind of resource India is showered with, human capital.
With the limited scope of employability of the visually challenged, the evident solution is to hone their communication skills and this could further sow seeds for future opportunities in the telemarketing sector.
Project Envision in its every step inculcates innovation, ranging from one of its kind mobile application that has been developed in order to facilitate the process of making telemarketing calls for the visually impaired to the unconventional ways of imparting vocational and technical training to our candidates, this project symbolises ingenious, insightful and incisive thinking.
Project Envision has remodelled the working of a basic call center. The workstations of the call center have been replaced by a simple android application which can be installed on any device with Android Version 4.0+ and an active internet connection which makes this project a low investment-high returns business opportunity.
Through the means of our project we enable our candidates to make marketing calls to potential customers from their homes instead of going through the tedious task of going to an office. Furthermore, this will allow them to have flexible working hours and give them a sense of safety that might not be ensured in a corporate work environment.Thus, they could work at home and become financially secure.
The qualified trainers from NGOs, will also make the candidates well versed with the existing technology. Once the candidates are employable, we will be contacting companies who are willing to invest in this venture. The company, while serving its social responsibility, will sign a contract with us to employ these candidates in Vellore. As soon as a positive response is met, we will be scaling up our project. We will parallelly start the training more people and employ them in the call centre. Our aim is to make them self-sufficient in a few years, thus granting them a deserving pay and an equal status in society.
The companies we work with can continuously monitor the calls being placed through a web interface and access the call statistics and call recordings upon request.
Journey till now
Honourable chancellor of VIT Dr.G.Viswanathan and Vice President Mr.GV Selvam inaugurated the project.Project Envision Inauguration also got featured in Dinakaran Daily newspaper & Dinamalar — World’s No 1 Tamil News
We have 20 candidates, who are currently being trained to place marketing calls and work with our application.
We also have a potential contract from a supermarket in Vellore and our first batch of 6 candidate have successfully completed a contract with a local school.
Project Envision was also selected as one of the ‘Top 20 Projects’ in the Social Entrepreneurship Pitch Fest held by NalandaWay Foundation and the U.S. Consulate in Chennai,December 2018.
Once this project takes flight, we plan on inducing multiple candidates from different regions who can operate as separate entities, working on multiple products from multiple contracts.
We are looking for funding to better our project by improving the quality of training provided to our candidates. We shall also use these additional funds to expand our project by renting out larger rooms for training, thus increasing the potential to train and impact more candidates. Some funds would also be directed towards server and database maintenance as well as for other technical assistance.We also plan on developing advanced cross platform software for automated calling and recording which would be able to push related statistics automatically to the contracting body.
Furthermore, we will use some funds to advertise our project and spread awareness about the problems faced by physically challenged people daily. This will help in the expansion of Envision and could lead to more companies and potential candidates approaching us.