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Puneet, age 34, has suffered from a 100% hearing and speech disability since birth. Despite his disability, he was an active child with a great fondness for Arts (especially painting) and Cricket. He was also very well-adjusted and regularly played with his non-disabled friends without any issues. After completing his school education in the Arts stream, he joined the CN Vidyalaya in Ahmedabad and studied Applied and Commercial Arts for 5 years. He was a brilliant student and performed better in the course than even his non-disabled classmates. He topped his college, and stood second overall in the state of Gujarat.
After completing his Arts course, Puneet also undertook a course in Desktop Publishing (DTP) from a private institute. Then, he began searching for jobs where he could use his artistic talents and earn enough to lead a self-sufficient life. This search led him to Designmate, where he has been working as a 3D Modeler for the past 7 years.
Puneet is married and his wife has a similar disability. They have a 7 year old daughter who was also born with a hearing and speech impairment. Puneet has made sure that his daughter was provided the best medical attention, and after 2 operations, she can hear with the help of a hearing aid.
Sejal, age 23, has suffered from a 100% locomotor disability since birth. The eldest of 3 children, she dreamed of following in the footsteps of her father, a businessman, despite her severe disability. She faced the world head-on, studied in regular schools and colleges throughout her life, and boasts of a wide circle of friends that she can depend on – all of whom are non-disabled. It is this innately well-adjusted and fearless personality that made her decide to pursue a corporate career.
Sejal stood third (72%) in Ahmedabad in the Gujarat Board HSC exams (Commerce Stream), and was awarded a certificate of merit plus Rs. 5,000 by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. After completing her B.Com, she took the MAT and achieved a score of 91 percentile. She chose to study in an Ahmedabad based college and was awarded a wheelchair by this college for being the first student with a major disability to have been selected for the MBA course. She was also awarded a scholarship of Rs. 72,000 by the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation. Sejal simultaneously pursued several vocational training courses in Tally, MS Office, Personality Development, and Beauty Therapy. She graduated with a CGPA of 7 out of 8, and joined Designmate in May 2013. Here, she has been a valuable member of the Marketing & Sales team, and handles Sales activities such as domestic travel competently.
Ms. Purnima Dave Mistri
Purnima, age 32, suffers from locomotor disability that affects both her legs. She was disabled at the age of just a year and a half due to a reaction caused by an incorrect vaccination administered to her when she was suffering from fever. Purnima’s condition worsened due to familial neglect, as all attention and resources were diverted to her father who often stayed unwell. However, despite being relegated to a wheelchair, Purnima was determined to complete her higher education, and learn vocational skills so as to lead a self-sufficient life. She pursued BA and MA degrees from the Gujarat University, while simultaneously undertaking vocational courses in Stenography, Computers, Garment Making, and Telephone Operator Training.
Purnima is an accomplished sportswoman. She has gained proficiency in short putt, discus throw, javelin throw, wheelchair racing, rifle shooting, and has won State level and National level awards in all these sports (certificates attached). She has won several awards at the National Para Athletics Championships, among other national sports events.
Purnima worked as a Stenography Instructor in Ahmedabad's Blind Peoples Association for 2 years, before joining Designmate as a 3D Animator in 2008. She is married and lives with her husband, who is also disabled.
Parth, age 29, has suffered from a 100% hearing and speech disability since birth. Due to the lack of schools in Ahmedabad equipped with the resources and teachers to educate deaf and mute children, Parth had to attend several different schools all over Gujarat in order to complete his basic education. Since an early age, he had a keen interest in Cricket. Initially, he was unable to indulge his love for the game due to his disability, but as he grew, he gained the confidence to pursue his passion and began attending several Cricket camps for deaf youth organized at the state and national level. Over the years, Parth honed his Cricketing skills to become a talented all-rounder.
After participating and winning several Cricket tournaments at the zonal, state, and national levels (certificates attached), Parth earned himself a spot in the national Cricket team that represented India in the second Deaf Cricket World Cup held in 2005. This team beat 9 international teams to win the World Cup for India.
Parth has been working with Designmate as a 3D Animator since over 8 years. He is adept at using software such as 3D Max, 2D Max, Unity 3D and Mudbox and is a valuable member of the team.
Paresh Kisanbhai Patni
Paresh, age 23 years, was born without forearms and lower legs into a family of very limited means. His parents did odd jobs to make ends meet for their large 8 member family. With an 85% permanent (multiple) disability one would expect Paresh to give up all hope. However, he was determined to transcend his condition and not only live a self-sufficient life but also contribute to his family's earnings. He asked to be admitted to the Sadvichar Viklang School in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, where he studied and lived till he passed class 12 in 2011. While there, he stood 1st in English and Hindi. He also learnt how to use a computer, and acquired basic computer skills.
Paresh had an artistic streak and wished to draw, but his lack of forearms posed a problem. He taught himself to draw using his upper arms and legs, and appeared for the State's Elementary Drawing Exams in 2003 and 2005, which he passed with C and B grades respectively.
Paresh has been working with Designmate as an Assistant Sound Engineer since 2011. He contributes to his family’s income, and hopes to save enough money to buy a house for them some day.
Ms. Jigna Patel
Jigna, age 30, suffers from a 50% locomotor disability. Both her legs and arms have been affected by muscular dystrophy since she was 13 years old. Jigna used to suffer from convulsions as a child, but with 2 other children in the house, her condition was ignored by her parents as a minor health issue. By the time her condition was correctly diagnosed, she was unable to walk on her own. Her father, a silversmith, was the only earning member of the family and could not afford to take her for physiotherapy sessions regularly, managing only a session a month. As a result, Jigna’s disability became permanent.
Jigna was very determined to complete her education. When her family could not fund her undergraduate studies, she started embellishing garments to fund her studies and pursued a B.Com. Next, she undertook a course in DTP. She was very keen on pursuing a qualification in Fashion Design, but could not earn enough money to pay the tuition fee. Her search for a job where she could use her creative bent of mind and earn enough to be financially independent led her to Designmate, where she has been working as a Video Editor since the past 5 years.
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