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At TnQ Books and Journals in Chennai, Prathap has been working for about six months. Prathap was the first student at Annai Special School, run by Karunaii Trust in Saidapet, Chennai. According to Mr. Radhakrishnan from Annai Special School, he was very well able to work for society. Prathap is now working at the canteen of TnQ, where he has to make sure that food, as well as drinks will be served.

Dr. Santhi, general production manager at TnQ Books and Journals, says she finds it extremely important to give opportunities to people like Prathap. She feels it is her duty to do this, but also she is very happy to have Prathap working for her. “You barely notice he is not like others”, she says, “there are no obvious signs of retardation and he is doing extremely well. In about a week, Prathap was able to work independently. He knew his task and did not need any further directives. Prathap has very good manners – much better than many others – and Dr Santhi thinks he actually should get some further education. She would recommend other employers to have the mentally retarded working for them, “it is our duty”, she says”.


Venkatraman also used to be a student at Annai Special School. In November 2005, he was employed at Leather Crafts India Ltd. where he has been working ever since. Venkatraman is working at the packing department, where he is responsible for checking goods before they go the final inspection. After about ten days of being at the factory, Venkatraman was very well able to understand his task and work independently.

Mr. Sunil Pratap, project manager at Leather Crafts India, says he is very happy to have Venkatraman working for him. He thinks it is his responsibility to employ the less well fortuned in society and to help them, but also to show them how they can help themselves. Besides, Mr. Sunil Pratap thinks it is a good way to demonstrate to other workers at the factory, that the mentally handicapped can be extremely useful to society. Also he thinks that giving employment opportunities to the mentally handicapped is a way of giving them more self-respect and a sense of self-efficacy. By being aware of the fact that they can fulfill a proper role in society, they will be much happier citizens.


Selvakumar has been working at The Rainbow Print House in Chennai for two and a half years. He works six days a week and mainly operates one of the printing machines completely by himself. According to Mr. Sathya Nayayanan, owner of the Rainbow Print House, his role is of vital importance. “When Selvakumar is not there for one or two days, it is very hard for his colleagues to get the work done”, he says. Next to looking after one of the machines, Selvakumar also assists his colleagues with other tasks. According to Mr. Sathya Nayayanan, he is extremely dedicated and is eager to help in any way. Mr. Sathya Nayayanan is happy to have Selvakumar working for him and is thinking of employing more boys from Karunaii Trust. He is in close contact with the people from Karunaii Trust, which he thinks is a prerequisite for employing and educating boys like Selvakumar. Through Karunaii, Mr. Sathya Nayayanan very well knows how to get the best out of his employee. “The best thing about having Selvakumar here”, he says, “is that we are both benefited”.


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