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What is a sustainable model that can help 35 million Indians lead empowered lives? Sugandha Sukrutaraj talks about AMBA, a powerful answer to the needs of India’s intellectually challenged.
AMBA is a business that employs over 60 intellectually challenged people to do back office work for other large businesses. It was founded with a vision to train, employ, and financially empower people with intellectual disabilities. And it has made a brilliant start in this direction, thanks to the Founder, Sugandha Sukrutaraj.
A typical working day at the AMBA office starts at 10 am, with the sound of phones ringing, keyboards ticking, and people talking. But what makes this organization truly unique is the fact that all of AMBA’s employees are intellectually challenged, i.e., every member of staff, barring the top two in the management, suffer from autism spectrum disorder.
Most people find it hard to believe that 3% of India’s population is intellectually disabled. For the most part, this is an ignored and disempowered section amongst us that depends on the immediate family, on institutions that care for them until they are 18 and on society’s charity thereafter. What we fail to recognize is that this population is ‘differently abled’, i.e., there are some things they can do and that they can do these things very well. In fact, the woman who trains the team at AMBA is someone with an intellectual disability.
What’s amazing about AMBA is that not only is it applying mainstream thinking to empowering people with disabilities, it is particularly focused on those within this community who have a lower ability. AMBA isn’t just an organization, it is the start of a sustainable model that can benefit 35 million Indians, if replicated right. Here’s a video from Chai with Lakshmi, where you get to see AMBA at work and hear Sugandha sharing about her pursuit. She is an amazing woman, watch her speak here!
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