Andhjan Kalyan Trust

“I work as a customer care executive at par with people with normal vision. My job is to provide information to the customers on phone, and I am able to do that efficiently with the help of the screen-reading software. I feel empowered when the customer is not even able to make out that I have problems with my vision.”

— Sanjay, program beneficiary

Technology Helping Disabled in Gujarat

Andhjan Kalyan Trust is a nonprofit working for the all-around development and welfare of disabled people in the Saurashtra region of India’s Gujarat state. It provides computer training, life skills training, rehabilitation services, and other programs to help the disabled become socially and financially self-reliant. It also runs a hostel for visually impaired college students. 

Andhjan Kalyan Trust was established in 1992 for the purpose of helping the blind. It later expanded its programs to include the hearing impaired, mentally retarded, and physically handicapped, as well as those stricken with multiple handicaps and cerebral palsy. Although the focus of its work is in Gujarat state, the organization also provides services in other parts of India and internationally when the need arises. 

Andhjan Kalyan learned about BiGTech — the product donation program of NASSCOM Foundation, TechSoup Global’s partner in India — through the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), an IT trade association in India. Through BIGTech, Andhjan Kaylan received a variety of software donations, including Microsoft Office and Windows and Quick Heal AntiVirus software. The donations are used in the organization’s computer education center, which offers free computer training for the visually impaired. 

One of the students who benefited from the training is a 26-year-old blind man named Sanjay. Before enrolling at the computer education center, Sanjay was having difficulty studying and was totally dependent on his family. At the center, Sanjay learned to use the Windows operating system, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and more specialized programs like JAWS for Windows. He also received life skills training, including employment training, career guidance and counseling, and personality development classes. Sanjay went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree at Dhoraji College and now works as a customer care executive for India Infoline, a major financial services company. He is no longer dependent on his family — in fact, he provides economic support to his family.