The new generation of young entrepreneurs in India are creating new directions for business opportunities as well as social responsibility. Dhruv Lakra, an MBA graduate from Oxford, started Mirakle Couriers, a courier company with a difference which employs only deaf and dumb youths. A courier service requires minimal use of speech and hearing, which is why Dhruv thought of starting this business for specially-abled people. Barring the 4 management staff, all employees are hearing disabled. He has two branches in Mumbai and already plans to go pan-India in the long run.
In his own words Dhruv stated a moving tale of how he got this idea:
Once upon a time, Dhruv was sitting on a bus next to a young boy looking eagerly out the window. In fact he was not just eager but actually being very restless. He was looking around anxiously, seeming slightly lost. Dhruv asked him where he was going but the boy did not respond. It took him a few seconds to realise that this boy was unable to hear or speak. He was deaf. Though the bus conductor regularly announced the stops this boy still did not know where he was. Dhruv took out a piece of paper and wrote to him in Hindi asking him where he was going. Through the back and forth pen and paper exchange, it suddenly dawned on Dhruv how difficult life was for the deaf. Something as straightforward as a bus became a struggle…It is an invisible disability. You can not know when someone near you is deaf as there are no obvious physical attributes, and so its totally ignored. It is also a silent (voiceless) disability. There is very little public sympathy for the deaf, and by connection, a severe lack of government support for them in India. Particularly when it comes to employment there are no opportunities because no one has the patience or the foresight to learn deaf language and culture. This is how Mirakle Couriers was born…Over the next few months Dhruv spent time exploring the deaf culture and learning Indian Sign Language. He focused on a courier business because it requires a lot of visual skills but no verbal communication. The deaf are extremely good at maps reading, remembering roads and buildings because they are so visually inclined…Over the last two years Mirakle Couriers has grown to operate in 2 Branches in the city, employing 70 deaf employees and delivering over 65,000 shipments per month. We have won several awards including the 2009 Hellen Keller award and the 2010 National Award for the Empowerment of People With Disabilities.
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