One challenge that a lot of Deaf people face is finding employment. It is not that Deaf people are less capable or deserving of jobs than others, but there is a challenge in overcoming stigmas and being given the opportunity to show that they can do the same work as hearing people. This is true across the world, but is even more challenging in some countries that do not have a lot of support for Deaf communities.
In India one entrepreneur has tried to change that. After a chance meeting with a Deaf boy on a bus in Mumbai, Dhruv Lakra decided to do something about it. Lakra learned Indian Sign Language and started Mirakle Couriers. This company only hires Deaf employees as both couriers to make deliveries around the city of Mumbai, as well as back-office data entry staff to make sure the right packages are going to the right place.
In India, only 67% of Deaf adults are employed due to a lack of support both in the community and the government. The 67% that do find jobs are often employed informally, which leads to low pay and potentially bad working conditions. By hiring an all-Deaf staff Mirakle Couriers addresses a major social issue. The fact that the company also seeks to be profitable and financially sustainable makes Mirakle Couriers a great example of a social enterprise.
All staff are fluent in Indian Sign Language, which is used along with text messaging to form an entirely Deaf-friendly communications system for the company. Employees are rigorously trained and then given a specific section of their city to cover. Mirakle Couriers emphasizes the fact that they are not a charity and do not exist to give out handouts. The company provides employment and allows Deaf people an opportunity to become financially independent and provide for their families. Mirakle Couriers is a great example of a company with a soul that was started to help the lives of Deaf people, and it is very exciting to see what the future holds for them.