Petition update

Victory At Last: Students Graduated and Got Job Placements Thanks to BMRCL

Pooja Namrata

Apr 28, 2023 — 

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I am thrilled to share that our agitation for the rights of disabled students studying in Bangalore is FINALLY a victory.

As we all remember, Technical Training Centre for Deaf (TTCD) was going to be demolished to build a metro station. In response to public outrage and media scrutiny,

  • BMRCL immediately took corrective steps by rehabilitating the institute's students with speech and hearing impairments in 2019. When COVID-19 hit, the students were unable to attend online classes due to their disabilities. This disrupted their education and graduation.
  • So in 2022, BMCRL took it upon itself to support the students. It brought in Growthwatch, an NGO to help. As reported in The Times of India by journalist Christin Philip Mathew, BMRCL organised a programme called Spandana, wherein parents and students were consulted
  • Ghousia Polytechnic for Women provided a place and technically qualified teachers, and an interpreter. This ensured the affected students completed their technical courses and received their certification.
  • BMRCL brought in 3 companies to provide jobs to the graduates and offered a one-year stipend to those who were yet to complete their course.

As you can see, this happened over a year ago in March 2022 but I am sharing the news only now because of some wonderful developments in my personal life. The journalist Christin, who became my ally, had messaged me about this exciting turn of events on the day I was being wheeled into a labour room on 20th March 2022. That day is special for more than one reason. I had two victories: I successfully delivered a beautiful baby girl AND we secured this victory for people in my disabled community.

There are many people to thank for this.

  • Firstly, Christin himself who broke the story which caught the eye of my fellow changemakers (Liffy, Nida Sahar, Jeel, Madhavi, Srushti P) in the She Creates Change programme triggering to launch our rapid response campaign.
  • I also want to thank the network of activists in the Indian disabled network like Vaishnavi Jayakumar and others. The entire disabled community came together.
  • This petition would never have made it this far without the 50,000 of you who signed and shared the petition.
  • Deepest gratitude to my friends in Bangalore who helped deliver this petition with all our signatures to the State of Commissioner for People with Disabilities.
  • And finally, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited for being responsive and taking immediate steps to do right by the students.
  • I want to dedicate this win to my friend Shilpashri Aswathanarayana, who was taken away from us by the COVID pandemic. Shilpoo had covered the expenses for the interpreter who attended the various meetings for this campaign. She would have been so happy to see the news today.

The support for this campaign has been beyond my expectations, even today people are signing it. This campaign has strengthened my faith in collective power as shown by the disabled community. They never gave up hope. And hope is what led to this landmark moment.

I have deliberately written disabled community and not "differently-abled" because we from this community want to normalise the word disabled in society.

Thank you for all everything. Keep supporting good causes. Start campaigns when something bothers you like the news story on the demolition of Save TTCD bothered me.

Thank you to and the She Creates Change team for creating an amazing platform that makes it easy for common people like us to campaign across geographies, and connect with one click with warm-hearted strangers.

Namrata Sharma

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