Enabled strong enough to stand with dignity

31 August 2021

Often we have seen people with disabilities reeling through a great deal of stress while meeting their daily life needs. Unlike abled persons, meeting the complex needs with a disability can trigger a range of unsettling emotions and fears. But Arun Kumar chose to live a life with dignity, fighting all the systematic and physical barriers.

A differently-abled person, Arun today runs a mobile phone service centre at Vellichand village near GMR Krishnagiri SIR (Special Investment Region) Ltd. But his life was a misery a few years ago. When Arun was in college, he lost his right leg in an accident while going to college. He had to discontinue his studies as his parents were daily wagers and could not save enough. He lost all hopes of securing a bright future. His lack of education and physical disability proved to be a huge disqualification when he started chasing employment opportunities.

But Arun was clear that with determination, commitment and strength of mind, he will be able to empower himself one day. At this juncture, he came to know through one of his friends that GMR's CSR arm - GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF) supports the youth with skill training based on their interest and also provides support in setting up of their enterprise. He approached GMRVF and enrolled in a one month Mobile Repair Training course where he started honing all the technical skills.

Arun was a quick learner in his batch and practised at home as well. The training also focused on communication and business management skills. Over the course of the month, Arun acquired all these skill sets and was soon able to set up a shop with support from the foundation.

GMRVF provided him with basic equipment and a tool kit. With this, he started his shop in Vallichand village where he started offering multiple services ranging from mobile repairing to selling mobile accessories etc.

Using the skills learnt during the training, Arun was able to attract many customers and is now a role model for many local youths in his village. He has also engaged two support staff to cater to his growing customer base. Today, Arun has not only been able to successfully overcome all the hurdles, but is also earning a good profit. He now lives a dignified life with his parents and also contributes his earnings for a stable livelihood of his family.