Beyond Sympathy, Embracing Empathy

Ranjana, 29

Location: Odisha

“The world was not made for people like me. It was never intended to have people like me in it,” said Ranjana Nahak, born in a small village called Kushapur in Odisha’s Ganjam district. Afflicted with a locomotor disability since birth, Ranjana faced many challenges growing up in a rural area with limited accessibility. However, she was determined not to let her disability define her life, so with the perseverance to be looked upon as a normal person she completed her BCA degree. Despite holding a prestigious degree Ranjana was piled upon by hefty rejections saying, “They couldn’t hire me because of my disability as I would be a liability,” laments Ranjana.

“I did not want people to feel sorry for me,” iterates the determined soul who then came across Anudip’s career-driven programs which aim to empower people like Ranjana to lead a normal life just like five other people. Talking to the counselors, for the first time Ranjana was made to believe, “People with disabilities have a voice, and non-disabled people need to listen and give them a space to share.” Inspired by them, she enrolled in Anudip’s intensive Certificate in English Communication and IT Essentials online course(SCEIT) powered by Accenture.

“It was a whole new world for me,” remembers the brave heart as she gained in-depth knowledge of software testing methodologies, SQL programming, web development using HTML/CSS/JavaScript, and Linux administration. The online projects and assignments enabled Ranjana to become proficient in industry-relevant skills.“Learning to code and build web applications from scratch was so empowering,” Ranjana shares. “My instructors motivated me to keep strengthening my technical abilities.” Their belief in her fueled Ranjana’s self-confidence.

“People around me saw me not as a liability but as a human being with a degree,” says Ranjana with a huge smile on her face as she received the offer letter from Accenture as soon as she completed the 3-month course. “I had to give back what I got,” says Ranjana who decided to join Anudip instead as an IT faculty who wanted to teach her students “Instead of showing sympathy, we need more empathy — learn what a disability is and what it’s like living with one.” Today Ranjana stands proud with her sportsman passion as she won the gold medal in the shot put in the State Para Athlete Championship 2024.

“I am so thankful to Anudip and Accenture for believing in me,” Ranjana asserts. “I want to pay it forward by empowering others with skills to make their dreams reality.”From barely believing she could work to becoming an IT professional, mentor, and award-winning para-athlete, Ranjana discovered her limitless capabilities. She aspires to transform mindsets and build a society where persons with disabilities enjoy equal opportunities.