Thursday, September 14, 2023

Attitudes of the Sighted Towards Specially Abled Colleagues

When we try to create an inclusive workplace, CEOs and HR Leaders have one doubt on top of their minds - 

"How will the rest of our colleagues respond to the initiative? Will they welcome the change? Will they think of it as tokenism? Will they make the changes needed to create true inclusion?" 

To help all stakeholders make unbiased decisions, Esha conducted a nationwide research to answer the question: 

What, really, is the attitude of the sighted towards their specially-abled colleagues? 

To ensure zero bias, the research questionnaire was circulated only through friends and family. To further enable honesty, it was made possible to answer completely anonymously. 

The research was a year in the making - we started in May 2022 and completed only by July 2023. The report writing took another month. 

There are many things that we learnt as part of this research, but for the decision-makers, stakeholders, and everyone involved in creating a more inclusive world, we have just two insights to share: 

1. Every interaction matters. Even people who have had a very brief encounter with a blind person earlier are more likely to believe that the blind can be financially independent. Not just that, they are also more likely to support the changes (longer transaction times, physical changes) if it means having specially abled colleagues. So, initiatives like Blind School visits, public space accessibility et al, are not just important for the blind. They are also important for the sighted. 

2. We usually assume that most colleagues would be hesitant to make the changes required. In fact, when thinking of our colleagues' attitudes towards changes, we "Start with No." 

The number of people who said they would be very glad to make the changes required is 93%!! 5% were neutral and had a wait-and-watch approach. That means that just 2% of corporate salaried professionals have a negative attitude towards changes required to make an inclusive office! Let that sink in - Only 2%! 

Our advice to all stakeholders in general and corporate employers in particular is simply this - Start with an assumption of Yes! The people are willing. 

The entire report can be read on the Esha website here:

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Talk on Esha

Talking about Esha is our favourite thing to do. But listening to this chat made us realise that this conversation, these subjects - they are important.

Even if we live them every day, we need to talk about it.
Thank you, Sid Baliga, for taking the time to talk to us and helping us spread the word!

This was such a pleasure, and reiterated, for us, and hopefully, for the listeners, why the work of Esha is small, but not insignificant.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Report on the Esha Summer Program 2023

The Esha Summer Project 2023 got off to a nice start with 55 registrations. Most of these registrations were through social media. 

As usual, the students were asked for their choice of project. 

Orientations were held for students who opted for project management, video making, and research. 

Eventually, three students were part of the research project. They did some analysis and helped us create tables and graphs that went into the report. 

Students dropped out at various points in the program. 

We observed the following: 

A. Students who opted for video making dropped out when they realised that they have to follow a process and create an educational video, not a social media video. They did try but were not able to make an explainer. 

B. Some students had travel that interfered with the summer program. 

C. All the students who opted for Project Management dropped out because of the quantum of work. One student was blacklisted. It is recommended that project management should not be given to students. This experiment has failed, yet again. 

D. Some students, who chose research, were not able to devote the time required to do the analysis. The learning for us is that high school students are not able to tabulate data or make basic graphs. That expectation should be corrected. Further, there is a real time crunch among high school students. 

About 25 students were selected for participation. 11 students completed the program, and only one of them got a Certificate of Commendation this year. 

Our objective at Esha every year is that the students should get sensitised to the needs of blindness. Am very happy to report that the only student who did Blind Walks this year, was very touched at the end of the program. The other students who participated in research or recording also wrote to us that they learnt something as part of the project. 

One difference this year was that English screenreaders are now relatively mature. So, we did not get English content recorded. Content was contributed and is being uploaded on the Esha website for free download. Like CLABIL this content is also academic or literary in nature. 

Lessons for the next year

1. We should be more friendly with the volunteers. 

2. We need to keep the parents more involved throughout the process. Sometimes, students forget to tell us about travel plans. parents do this better. 

3. Project management should not be given to students at any level - including college. 

4. We shoudl try to get more college students. 

5. This year, we could not convince children to do Blind Walks. Next time, we should try and get more blind walks done. 


Audio Files - 12 audio files in Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and English (1 file on lakes of Bengaluru). 

Content - 12 question banks submitted in History, Physics, English, Chemistry, and Biology. 

Blind Walks - Two blind walks covering 12 people. 

Research - 3 students 

Partial work is not listed in this output. Work done but not found to be of suitable quality is also not listed. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Scribes Wanted for CAT Aspirants

 What: Scribes to work with CAT Aspirants and to help them in the final exam

Where: Hyderabad
When: From now to the date of CAT
Time Commitment: 2 hours a day, about 2-3 times a week. Completely flexible.
How this works: You will be tagged with one aspirant. The idea is to get comfortable with each other so that you can effectively help them scribe on the final day.
How many: SIX volunteers wanted.
We are Vignesh and Sanjana, who are IIM Lucknow Alumni and founders of Mockat. We coach students for the CAT exam, which is the entrance test for most of the top Business Schools in India, include the 20 IIMs.
As a part of our social initiative, we recently started training 5 Visually Impaired students - Kottakapu Shivani, Rahul Munnur, Baddam Akash, Daya Praveen, Sharath Kumar Budida, who have performed very well academically (close to 90% in 10th , 12th and college). We are based out of Chennai but train the students online with about 5 to 6 classes per week. And, we are being mentored by Nidhi Arora, (IIM Calcutta ’01 batch, and Founder of Esha – People for the Blind). The students are highly talented and are now trained to mentally solve Easy to Moderate Questions.
CAT allows them to have a scribe who can read out the questions, write the steps and mark the answers. Given the nature of the exam and their disability, working closely with the scribe is extremely important to do well in this exam as it is a very fast-paced exam.
We are looking for 6 volunteers who can be the scribes for these 5 students from now to the CAT exam which will be held on 26th November 2023. All of the students are at HYDERABAD and can travel to the volunteer’s places, if required, as well. It would be helpful if the volunteers could spend about 2 hours of practice, 3 times a week. Timings are completely flexible as the students are preparing full-time. A few sessions can be held vide zoom as well.
These students are bright and motivated and want to succeed. Helping them on this front would really propel their career and their future. Please feel free to reach us at +91 9769744855 or +91 9930478173 if you could volunteer. Many Thanks.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Esha and Enable India - Enable Vaani

Esha is very happy to share a new collaboration with Enable India. Our CLABIL content is now available on EnableVaani project of Enable India. Enjoy the audio stories, quizzes, Asaan Ganit, and other audio content from CLABIL. What would you like to listen to?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Esha's new logo and new website

This is a very big day for us at Esha. 

Today, we unveil the new logo and the new website of Esha. 

For the last 2-3 years, Esha has been trying to answer the question - What next? What now? 

The research project we did in 2019 was an eye opener. 

Today, I am glad to share the new logo of Esha: 

The new logo retains Braille as the main communication - the dots on top is Esha in Braille. 

Under that are the three keywords of Esha - Dignity, Empowerment, Enablement. 

I thought it was important to put these in the logo so that we are able to communicate upfront what we stand for. 

The black and white colour scheme to represent the world we stand for, has also been retained. 

The new website of Esha: 

As we restart with renewed vigour, we are looking for volunteers, because another thing that remains unchanged is our commitment to being 100% volunteer driven. 

The Esha Summer Project is currently underway. All school students are invited to participate and volunteer from wherever they are - to create an inclusive world. 

Thank you! 


Saturday, April 15, 2023

Esha Summer Program 2023

 The Esha Summer Program 2023 is here! 

The presentation is here. 

You can also see the slides in order below. 

The link to register is:

For any questions, please write to us at 

Thursday, March 2, 2023

How do Blind Schools enable people?

One question that we often hear is - how do blind schools enable people? 

This video, made by Aditya Bhasin, educates us in this heartwarming video of less than 4 minutes.

We recommend that you watch it. 

The school covered in the video is Saksham Trust, but its very illustrative of how most schools function. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Record for the online audio library

So far, we used to take recordings during the Esha Summer Program and during Read Fests at colleges or offices.

But there is a need to create a platform for recording volunteers who want to record from home all year round.

For all such volunteers, we now have the option of registering and starting recording any time.