By Digital Empowerment foundation
Published on: May 15, 2023
The stories of Samarth SoochnaPreneurs are always inspiring as they bring out the potential to step out of the comfort zone and reach out for something better. The very fact that one can change the way one’s place in society is perceived provides hope to many more around to look for better means to grow.
At DEF physical disabilities are not seen as an obstacle that limits the possibilities of leading a service oriented good life. Samarth SoochnaPreneur program has enabled many such people across India to find better ways of serving the community than being looked down upon as those that need to be always taken care of.
Aquib Beldar is a 27-year old from the Shahada taluka of Nandurbar district, Maharashtra. He belongs to a family of six with an academic qualification in Computer Application which he completed with distinction. His father is a construction worker and the sole earning member. Although Aquib is educated, because of his physical disability, he did not work outside and stayed at home. The hardships faced by his father bothered him which made him take up the job of an accountant in Honda Showroom, but couldn’t keep up with it as his disabilities hindered his travel.
The family expenses started rising to which he was not able to help being the eldest son. He was more disgruntledsaddened by the fact that his father was also bearing his medical expenses. He later joined Mahindra company as a customer support where he had to put in a lot of work hours without much satisfaction in return. This was when he came across a coordinator of DEF and got to know about the organisation’s work. He decided to work for DEF and received digital equipment under the Digital Daan project using which he opened a SoochnaPreneur centre. He slowly included more services like updating PAN card, Aadhar card, filling out forms for government schemes, etc. Being a former student of computers himself, he found the need to teach other students about the basics of computers and started digital literacy classes.
Now, he is able to earn a good income from the centre which also covers his medical expenses. He is also preparing for some competitive exams. He is very pleased to have seen his circumstances change for the good and grateful for the opportunities that have made him feel fulfilled and independent.