Inclusion Works for Business

It’s a routine busy day at the Printographics office on Bommanahalli at Bangalore. The bustle and the noise of traffic outside are matched by the hum of several machines and photocopiers whooshing at high speed. Totally unmindful of the busyness around, is a serene looking young boy, focusing on a sheet of paper with zen like concentration.

Rajashekhar Murthy is a hearing impaired young man who has been working here for close to a year and a half and is extremely popular with his colleagues and supervisor.

A gentle touch by his HR manager on his shoulder snaps Rajashekhar’s attention and he turns to face her with a big smile. She nods, and points to the door and walks ahead and he follows her; but enroute, he makes several pit stops for cheerful hi-fis with colleagues who clearly share a camaraderie with him. Obviously communication is not an issue despite Rajashekhar being restricted to his sign language.

Says Printo’s Assistant HR Manager, Shweta, who had interviewed Rajashekhar before recruiting him “At Printographics we have a very inclusive policy and an open attitude. Rajashekhar is a hardworking and cheerful person and in terms of productivity he can match the best here. I am enthusiastic to work with him and I am truly proud of him for we know we can count on him.” Rajashekhar too is thrilled to be working here. “I love the place” he signs with his hands as our interpreter translates for us. “I am loved here more than my family”

Shweta adds “He has such a winning smile that it is impossible to get angry with him!” and adds “he works well with least supervision or distraction and we have never felt he is less than the others.  We are thankful to Dr Reddy’s initiative for training him.”

And therein lays the tale of how workplaces that are inclusive and enabling can become havens of joy and acceptance for people like Rajashekhar.