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Dhaka Tribune

Able and capable ‘disabled’

Update : 29 Mar 2016, 06:16 PM
The gathering that took place at the second floor of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) building at Agargaon on Tuesday was not a usual one. There were stalls and the whole second floor looked like a fair. It was indeed a fair. Upon entering there, the first person that I met was a visually impaired man-one Ataur Rahman. I came to learn about his success story. When Rahman, 23, enrolled into training for computer learning in 2013, he didn’t have much hope. “I have been visually impaired since my birth. I was born and brought up knowing that I have a hopeless future”. The computer training that Rahman received under a join collaboration project of the ICT division of the government and Center for Services and Information of Disability (CSID) transformed his apathetic attitude into a hopeful one. “In 2015, I went to a job fair organised at the ICT building in Agargaon. That job fair was organised for the people with different sort of disabilities like me. I gave interview to two stalls and got a job at one of the companies there later.” Rahman now earns Tk 20,000 and most importantly he now learns to hope. “I hope that I will earn more and can support my family more”. Rahman came to visit the 2016 job fair for people with disabilities to motivate others. “I got a job through 2015 fair. So I come here to tell others about my success story. I want to tell them not to lose hope just because they are disabled in some sort of ways, because I believe, with hard work and determination; anyone can become what they want to be”. Like Rahman, Jahidul Islam, 28 also came to the job fair to inspire others. Islam, an MBA holder from North-South University (NSU) now works as a fellow for the international non-government organization (NGO) Actionaid. “At the age of two, I suffered from Polio and lost my movement abilities. But my life didn’t stop there. I have learned to accept what I am and wanted to move forward”. Jahidul now goes to different local and international events to tell about his story of overcoming his limitations. “Here I come to tell disabled people that they too can get jobs and earn a living for them as well for their own families”. The job seekers are getting hope from people like Rahman and Islam. Mizanur Rahman  visually-impaired job seeker said that he had submitted his resume at three stalls. “I already gave interview at one stall. I received training from CSID to be a PABX operator. Now I hope to be one”, he said. Saima Akhter, who is missing a leg, was also hopeful about the job prospect. “I want to be a computer operator as I have learned Microsoft Office under the training project of CSID and ICT division”. “One of my friends and fellow course-mate got a job at the 2015 fair. I hope to get one in this year’s one”. Kazi Musaid Hossain, the HR executive of Digicon Technologies told me that they had received 30 resume of people with disability in the fair. “We also take interviews of nearly 10. Some of them have great prospects”. He said that Digicon is hiring  computer operators and call center executives. “Obviously people with hearing impairments can’t apply for call center so we screen out those who have such disabilities. He however said that they could apply for computer operator”. Monir Hossain, HR executive of Creative IT limited said, last year, they recruited five persons with disabilities through the job fair. “They were proven to be very hard working. So this year, we plan to recruit more”, he said. Mushfiqur Rahman, an official with CSID in last year, a total of 40 disabled people got job through the fair. “Most of the jobs were ICT based as we provided them the ICT training”, he said. The CSID official said that with right training, the disabled people could be proven as very able and capable human resource for any company. “The problem is, access to economic opportunities for people with disabilities is really very scarce in Bangladesh”. Lack of practical experiences and vocational skills are also obstructing their access to income generation options, he added. “Truth is, a majority of the people with disabilities, including those with a severe level of disability has the confidence to acquire education and engage in financially gainful contributing activities enabling them as effective contributors”.
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