Story of Jeganathan L

Impact Disability - Story of Jeganathan L 1

Jeganathan L

Trained in SMART+ Centre at Chennai

Early Life 

Jeganathan is all of 26 years old and comes from a farmer’s family in a small town in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. His mother manages the household and he has 2 married sisters who live at their marital homes. Jeganathan comes from a financially poor background. His father’s income from farming was barely enough to make ends meet for the family of 5. While the family had to scrimp and save to even buy basic necessities, education was out of the question. Jeganathan’s parents still managed to give him an education up to class Xll. 

After school, he did not want to burden his parents with the expenses of a higher education. Jeganathan joined a small manufacturing industry near his house and worked as a daily wage labourer in the loading section. He wanted to contribute to the family and reduce his father’s financial burden. 

Disability and its Challenges 

Jeganathan was born with a speech and hearing impairment, which went undiagnosed till he turned 2 years old. His father’s attitude towards him changed as soon as he discovered his son’s disability. The stigma around disability caused Jeganathan’s relatives to shun the family. This in turn incited his father who thought he was a curse to the family and harassed him. Jeganathan’s mother and sisters were his guardian angels who were extremely supportive. They offered him all the solace that he never got from his father. 

Jeganathan studied in a special school and made a lot of friends while at school. But, every time there was a gathering in the household, his cousins neglected him. It was only after he started working that his father softened up to him and understood him. Jeganathan used his earnings to help his father with his sisters’ wedding expenses. Jeganathan got married to a girl who was also speech and hearing impaired. The stigma and ignorance around disability kicked in again amongst his colleagues at work. They would tell Jeganathan that his child would be born disabled too. This struck so much terror in Jeganathan’s heart that he would fervently pray to the almighty for a child who was not disabled. 

Jeganathan lost his job during the pandemic. When there was a complete lockdown in the country, jobs were not the biggest priority and disabled people were in the most vulnerable state. He wanted to find another job as soon as possible, so that his family wouldn’t suffer but could not manage to. 

Journey with Youth4Jobs 

Jeganathan found out about Y 4J through a social media platform. He contacted our team in Chennai and they helped him enrol for the online training program. Jeganathan was an active participant during all the sessions. He was a bit unsure about himself and was battling negativity. His biggest regret is that he won’t hear his child’s voice when she calls him daddy! Our team gave him ample counselling sessions and helped him get over his traumas. 

Jeganathan was very keen to find a job immediately after training owing to his family’s financial situation. 

Placement 

As luck would have it, Jeganathan was selected for a job at Anusham Industries as soon as he completed training. He works at Anusham Industries now with a few other candidates from our training sessions. He is an extremely sincere worker, who is also very composed and co-operative. Jeganathan helps his father with farming in addition to supporting him financially. His wife gave birth to a perfect baby girl with no disabilities. 

All the relatives who shunned him are now in awe and respect him for how he turned his life around despite his disability. Success is such a game changer. Jeganathan lives with his wife and beautiful baby girl who will one day grow up and make him as proud as he made us! 

Source: As published in ‘50 Stories- Jobs for Disabled in COVID Times’ book by Youth4Jobs Foundation

Thank you for registering for
“Saajhi Samajh”

The webinar link is on its way to your email. Stay tuned for more updates on Saajhi Samajh 4.