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centumgro #ReachHigher


S T N E T N CO What is Centum GRO?






Message from the Team Overall Impact Brief on Centum GRO Initiative How are we different?

Deaf Empowerment English Communication Course Multi-Media Course Interview Skills / CV Development



Self Initiation Projects Community Events Conferences Research Project

Participation at Ministry Levels International Presence Presentations on Advocacy Sign Language Interpreter Retreat



Associate Vice President of Centum-GRO Initiative

What a year 2017 was! Our India launch was a great success! This mission launched into orbit in July of 2015, when I presented my vision of establishing an enterprise training center and innovation hub created by the Deaf for the Deaf to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet. GRO's vision synced perfectly with the PM's National Action Plan announced that same year, which set forth a goal of creating 2.5 million jobs for people with disabilities (PWDs) by 2022. Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Airtel (one of the largest telecom companies in India) helped to turn my dream into reality by funding the project. In September 2016, I moved to New Delhi, India from Washington, D.C., after spending the previous 8 years teaching as a professor at Gallaudet University. Partnering with the largest vocational skills company in India, Centum Learning, the Centum-GRO Initiative was born! Together, we established and launched the Centum-GRO Initiative Skill Training Center for the Deaf in Hauz Khas in February 2017. I assembled a team of 11 Deaf experts from the US and India to design curriculum courses and implement innovative teaching methodologies. We train our students in leadership, empowerment, identity and language skills as well as self advocacy skills such as educating “hearing” employers on how to create more inclusive work environments. Our goal is to equip our Deaf students with sufficient self-initiation skills and resources so that they can return to their communities after graduating from our program empowered, confident and inspired. Since the launch of our center in February, a total of 250 Deaf students from across India have come to New Delhi to enroll in our residential program, and have graduated from our training curriculum. That’s 181 empowered Deaf Indians that can now seek employment with a confidence level they couldn’t imagine prior to Centum-GRO! We are not done dreaming. With a year on the ground in India under our belt, a dedicated staff of eleven, we have a passionate team that is ready to expand in scope and scale. The need is there. Our vision for 2018 is to create an Deaf Resource Center to encourage teams of Deaf individuals to create their own start-up businesses and employ Deaf personnel to support them. This approach is one I described to Prime Minister Modi in 2015, as I strongly believe that a holistic skilling of Deaf will transform perspectives about what Deaf individuals are capable of achieving. Thank you Bharti Group for helping us to change lives and shape futures. We wish you the very best of happiness in 2018. Warm Regards, Dr. Alim Chandani 4


Vice President of Centum Foundation

Skilling is not new to Centum. Working with the underserved category of the society has always been our endeavor. However, this mission was not holistic till Centum GRO was created as an integral part of Centum Foundation. In the year 2016-17, we started working with the deaf youth with the help of Grant provided to us by Airtel. While we took our first steps in the area of PwD, we understood that training on domain and providing a dash of soft skills is not enough to make the deaf succeed. Such efforts were important to get a deaf employed but sadly they did not translate into deaf youth achieving his life term goals. In India, the mindset of many people about the potential of deaf is not very evolved. This results in basic level jobs, slow or no growth and eventually attrition for many deaf who get employed. The education system of our country for the deaf also is detrimental to their growth. This made us think differently. Along with making them job ready, Centum GRO focused on deaf empowerment, identity and more importantly their accessibility and inclusivity. This report would give you an idea of the various activities we undertook to make deaf a part of the hearing community and the hearing people to get the real taste of the deaf world making both sides to drop their inhibitions and awkwardness around each other. None of this would have been possible without Airtel’s support. Their guidance, support and their faith is us enabled us to achieve many important milestones in this 1.5 year journey. We look forward to a continued relationship which will help us make a positive impact in this space.

Warm regards, Aarti Chandna




Amanda Fish


Tushar Viradiya

Deputy Trainer

Abhishek Singh Bisht

Multi-Media Specialist / Trainer

Babloo Kumar

Mobalization Specialist

Charu Narang


Amaldev Trainer

Surbhi Taneja

Business Dev. Specialist (Hearing)

Saurav Roychowdhury

Sign Language Interpreter (Hearing)



9000+ Reached out on Facebook!


Attended our Community Events!


Applied for Centum-GRO Training!

Students have joined Centum-GRO Initiative Training in New Delhi from these states in India

1000+ Attended our Indian Sign Language Trivia Events!



Currently working / self- employed

Interviewed for Jobs



Video-Logs (VLOGs) have been created with over 3000 viewed!


Articles have been published about Centum-GRO!


Graduated from Centum-GRO


Launch Of Centum-GRO Initiative at Hauz Khas February 23, 2017


Centum GRO initiative is a product of a joint collaboration between Centum Foundation, a CSR arm of Centum Learning Limited and Global Reach Out Initiative, Inc. (GRO) a US based non-profit organization. It launched a new skill hub for the Deaf with a focus on Deaf Empowerment and Self-Initiation skills. This particular course is what makes its program unique. This course was developed and created by Deaf Experts from India and abroad. To name a few topics from this course such as “Development of Self-Awareness, Knowledge of Legal Rights and Policies, Establish Positive Work Environment, and Intro to Deaf Studies,” demonstrates the importance of becoming self-advocates and increasing their confidence levels for Deaf individuals to be “ready to work.” The trainings programs are conducted by Deaf Experts in India and abroad, who have graduate level training in Deaf Education and Management. The curriculum has been customized specifically for Deaf using Indian Sign Language, Visual Aids and Multimedia resources are used to enhance their learning. Many Deaf students who enrolled to our program came from a background where they were either ashamed or unaware of their identity of a being a Deaf person. They were uninformed of fact there exists a concept of Deaf Culture with its own language and its own traditions where they could feel involved, secure and safe. Many of them have never met a successful Deaf role model which they can look up to. Centum-GRO aims to help these Deaf individuals to realize their worth as a Deaf individual and they are no less than others. We aim to boost their confidence and help them #ReachHigher.


How are we different? (In terms of methodology)

While there are many training institutes that are working in providing training to Deaf people in India, Centum GRO follows an altogether different approach to reach out to the Deaf population, which is also its uniqueness.


Deaf people apply for our trainings through social media. 100% of our candidates are mobilized through social media particularly Facebook and word of mouth. The form which a candidate has to fill in to apply is in complete accessible format for the Deaf. The questions are written in English and the same questions are signed in Indian Sign Language and the videos are posted. This approach is called bilingualism where we provide access to their preferred language. After the application is being filled the candidate undergoes a round of video conference interview either through skype or WhatsApp video call. The importance of the interview is to understand from the candidate about what his / her expectations from the training are and what measures can we take to make training more suitable for them. Accordingly the selected candidates join the training. We have received over 800 applications to join Centum-GRO Program.

Interactive Teaching Sessions

We at Centum GRO believe that every individual should be encouraged to participate in daily teachings. Gone are the days when lecturing used to be the ideal way of teaching. It is time that teaching-learning process is more interactive where peer to peer feedback are given freely. Centum GRO gives more and more opportunities to the students to open up, express, ask, debate and learn. Few of these activities that encourage the same are: - Group Discussions - Peer Feedback - Role Play/Scenarios - Interactive Activities such as weekly jeopardy quiz - Mock interviews.


COURSES Deaf Empowerment One of the cornerstones of our program, we fully believe in opening up discussions about their identity as a Deaf person. We teach them about the history and successes that India has experienced under the leadership of our Deaf individuals. We detail our cultural experiences as a Deaf person and discuss about our legal rights as Deaf citizens. The pride and honor in their identity as a Deaf individual will strengthen their resolute to achieve and succeed in a hearing-dominated world.

English and Indian Sign Language Bilingualism In order to promote advancement in their written English and signed Indian Sign Language, we merge both languages in our teaching methods in order to maximize the results of their learning. The traditional teaching method that has been implemented will not work and succeed with Deaf students. We have to be more interactive and hands on in our teaching in order to help them understand. Because Indian Sign Language is a visual language, Deaf students are more receptive to connect the process of writing proper English with Indian Sign Language because it is a language that they understand where they are able to draw conclusions in their minds with signing, which in turn would lead to better results in their English.

Multi-Media Course The multi-media course has been designed by Deaf Experts to enhance their skills in the field of multi-media and graphic designing. The course includes both intermediate and advanced courses of multi-media various software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effect, and Adobe Preimere. The students learn how to develop their own website to showcase their portfolio work.

Interview Skills Prior to sitting for interviews, candidates are trained in interview skills. The candidates are taught basic work ethics, skills to answer a question aptly and modification of their CVs. This not only improves their answering skills but also eradicates their psychological fear of appearing in interviews. The classroom is turned into an office every Friday and mock interviews are practiced. The outcome of these mock interviews was tremendous. The candidates behaved more professionally when they had to face real time interviews and had answers to the questions asked to them. 10

S T C E J O R P N O I T A I T I SELF - IN ship Spirit)

(A Taste of Entrepreneur

Everyone has a hidden talent, one just needs to understand what it is and nurture it. We try to find out the hidden talents of our students and help them nurture it. We at Centum GRO wanted to unleash those hidden talents and carve out the self-initiation skills in them. The sole purpose of these activities is to give the Deaf a feel of entrepreneurship spirit. Cookery show in ISL, Desi Fashion Show, T-shirt designing competition, Deaf Art exhibition, Cake baking competition are few examples of the amazing activities that are carried out. COOKING SHOWS IN INDIAN SIGN LANGUAGE








4 BATCH 12

EVALUATION RESULTS After Centum-GRO Training, did you feel confident with yourself?

End of every batches, more than 80% of the students felt that they have improved their confidence levels through our training program.

How does Centum- GRO Training on prepping you to be “Ready to Work�

The first two batches did not include any module focusing on work-readiness and interviewing skills. The faculty realised and learnt from their initial batches and added an intensive module during the 3rd and 4th batch solely devoted to workpalce ethics, interviewing skills and CV preparation. The results showed that it certainly boosted their aspiration to #ReachHigher.




To bridge the communication gap between the Deaf and the hearing worlds, Centum-GRO Initiative took a small step and decided to launch an event called, Indian Sign Language (ISL) Trivia. ISL trivia is an educational quiz competition to learn about Deaf Culture and general knowledge. The sole purpose is to foster inclusion, where both hearing and Deaf worlds would gain something new that they learned that night - whether learning new signs or making new friends. Centum-GRO had hosted 5 ISL Trivia events in both cities, New Delhi and Mumbai.

MURAL PAINTING BY DEAF ARTISTS Students of Centum GRO painted an exquisite piece on the Lodhi Flyover in Delhi, depicting Deaf Empowerment, deaf identity, Deaf pride and the importance of Indian Sign Language. Another similar masterpiece was recently painted by the Deaf artists in Bandra, Mumbai on freedom to use Indian Sign Language and accessible traveling for persons with disability. Both the mural paintings got immense recognition by the public and media.

ACCESSIBILITY IN ENTERTAINMENT SPACE Gone are the days when accessibility for PwD meant only in the employment and education space. We realized that it’s time we rise above that and push accessibility quotient everywhere. Watching a movie in a theatre might be very common to you but imagine Deaf people missing out on entertainment as basic as watching a movie. So this year to make International Week of the Deaf a remarkable one- a famous Hindi movie “Toilet” was made accessible with English subtitles. PVR supported in making this possible. Deaf from all over Delhi came there and enjoyed the movie in accessible format.


COMEDY SHOW Comedy show by our Deaf comedians is always a delight to watch. It might be hard to imagine for a person that how can a Deaf person make you laugh, but candidates from Centum GRO have been able to pull out really amazing comedy shows in famous restaurants of Delhi/NCR. Do attend the next comedy show to have some laughter doze.

INDIA’S FIRST SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER’S RETREAT India has only 250 certified sign language interpreters for a population of 18 million Deaf people. The question arises that are the interpreters in our country ready and skilled enough to interpret at various platforms like a music concert or a court room situation? To address such concerns and develop ethical values among the interpreters- Centum GRO organized a 4-day retreat for 25 interpreters to learn from the experts and grow in the field with the ultimate goal of empowering the Deaf.

ACCESSIBILITY ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE Centum GRO initiative tied up with a sufi concert called “The Sufi Route” featuring A.R. Rahman. The objective of the same was to make music accessible for the Deaf community. The concert was completely signed in ISL. It was such a success that Mr. Rehman himself shared Dr. Alim’s video on his personal social media handle which had more than 6 million views. 16

First Bilingual Survey of the Deaf Conducting an employee satisfaction survey is a common trend in India, but a survey with respect to the Deaf especially one that highlights the experiences of Deaf in the job market is unheard of. There are a number of skill training centers for Deaf in India which are doing an exemplary work in terms of not just training but also providing placement support. But the question regarding the job satisfaction of the deaf individuals once they get placed remains answered. Is he/she happy there? Is he/she growing in his career? Has he/she sustained at the job? To cater to the same a survey was done that captures the satisfaction level of a deaf employee, his/her needs and concerns, highlights the challenges a deaf person faces at his/her workplace and suggest suitable measures to overcome the highlighted challenges, bridge the gaps and break the stereotypes. Another key objective of this survey was to highlight that amidst various cultures and identities in India, there exists a huge deaf community with its own culture and its own language - Indian Sign Language. The uniqueness of this survey was the use of a bilingual approach – written English and videos in Indian Sign Language for data collection. This survey also opens the doors for other organizations to use the data for constructive purposes of identifying the gaps and challenges in employing deaf individuals, thus, leading to development of the deaf community. Centum GRO aspires to do more such surveys to understand the barriers for Deaf in India better and suitably find measures to address them.


500 Responses in 1 week



Centum GRO was actively involved in advocating for the long due Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014 becoming Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. From the silent candle vigils to rallies to the celebration of it becoming an Act. Centum GRO was there supporting the Disability Rights Group through it all for achieving a common goal - “Empowerment of PwD.”

PRESENTATION AT World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) Centum GRO made its presence international in a conference hosted by World Federation of the Deaf in Hungary. Trainers Mr. Babloo, Mr. Tushar went presented at the conference along with Ms. Amanda, General Manager of Centum GRO and Dr. Alim Chandani, AVP Centum GRO Initiative. The theme of the paper that they presented on- Employment, Deaf Employees in Labour market.

PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL WEEK OF THE DEAF International Week of the Deaf 2017 centered on the theme of “Full inclusion with Sign Language”. To learn from the experts from India and abroad students of Centum GRO participated in a three day conference hosted in Delhi.



Centum GRO team participated in the National Conference hosted by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center. The conference had intense discussions about creating accessibility with Indian Sign Language for the Deaf in India. Sign Language interpreters from ISLRTC were also a part of Centum GRO’s interpreter’s retreat.

PRESENTATIONS AT UNIVERSITIES Dr. Alim has presented at JNU and NLU on “Becoming allies for the Deaf”. He explained the importance of Sign Language in the lives of Deaf. The major point of discussion was the right to choose. It should be mandatory to give the Deaf person a choice to choose his mode of communication be it oral communication or Sign Language. It is rightly said “Nothing about us, without us.”


Dr. Alim is an active member of a sub-group which provides consultation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It is regarding formulation of accessibility standards to facilitate accessibility for persons with disabilities keeping in view the provisions of the Rights of persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. Dr. Alim has been sharing his advice on the importance of subtitles on television for Deaf people in India.


Job Placements



DEAF EMPLOYEE SUCCESS STORIES Chintu Verma- I joined the first batch of Centum GRO in New Delhi. In these three month I learnt many interesting things like deaf gain, deaf history, deaf culture, deaf empowerment, Indian Sign Language, self- employment, deaf role model, interview skills, accessibility etc. I failed many job interviews in the past but when I joined Centum GRO I gained confidence through the various kinds of trainings that I can do anything. I became more confident than I was. Today I am working at EXL, I am very happy I got this job, our team is strong, and we are growing at EXL. I aspire to become a team leader. Thanks to Airtel & Centum GRO Initiative in helping me #reachhigher.

Himanshu Sharma- It was the first time I ever felt this confident- thanks to Airtel & Centum GRO. I learnt so much here about deaf gain, interview skills, empowerment and a lot more. Today I believe that I can be successful in life. Thanks to Centum GRO I got a job at EXL. I am very happy here as the deaf and hearing are treated equal here. The goal of my life is to become a leader and exhibit that any deaf person can work using Indian Sign Language. Many thanks to EXL for giving us an opportunity to work with you and letting us show our #deaftalent.

Mikki Kumar- I learnt a lot at Centum GRO, gained confidence and used my skills at EXL. Today I am able to communicate with the hearing staff as well. I had a tough time looking for a job, I feel very happy at EXL. Thanks to Airtel & Centum-GRO for the opportunity.

Sangeeta Rani hails from Dehradun, Uttrakhand. She became deaf at the age of three. After going through numerous social media posts of Centum GRO, she enrolled herself for the training with Centum-GRO. She had been desperately looking for a job to sustain herself and her family. Her passion for learning and implementing the skills being taught by deaf trainers was clearly visible when she got placed at Amazon India, which offered her a decent salary per month. She is now a highest earning member in her family and is also a role model for the deaf community.

Aneesh Kumar- Aneesh, alumni of third batch says: Centum GRO gave my dreams wings to fly. I worked as a laundry assistant for 7 years, event organizer with a church for 5 years. I never thought I had a life beyond this minimal jobs. Opened up a Dosa stall with two other deaf people in Kerala. I still felt something was missing. Joined Centum GRO, felt more empowered than I had ever felt with the kind of exposure I got here. Today I have been selected as a first Deaf manager at Sodabottleopnerwala, under the branch of Olive Bar and Kitchen.Thank you, Airtel & Centum-GRO.

Anu Nair is a deaf person from Kerala, moved to Delhi and has hope to become successful in life. Finished graduation in BA Applied Sign Language Studies. She says, “ While I was still looking to grow in my career, I got to know about Centum GRO which aims is to empower the deaf in India. I learnt more about deaf culture, deaf identity and most importantly that I can have a deaf role model. Their teaching methodology was altogether a new experience for megames, trips, leadership activities etc. helped me discover my hidden talents. Today I feel accomplished being a teacher at Dr. Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University, Lucknow. Thanks to Airtel & Centum GRO for making me so confident in life. ”

Rajat Sachdeva is a deaf person by birth, a graduate with seven years of work experience in an MNC in Pune. He never thought he’d be able to get a better opportunity than this, since many deaf people in India usually have a tough time getting a job, and in that state imagining a career growth is nothing less than a dream. Rajat decided to not stop and grow in his career. He joined Centum GRO in Delhi and joined the employability training. While looking for better opportunities Rajat continued to learn the leadership skills, deaf empowerment, interview skills etc. and refreshed not just his skills but also regained confidence. With the help of Centum GRO, Rajat today has cleared all the rounds of a successful MNC- BOEING INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED and has been given a position of Systems Analyst - Application End User Support with an amazing salary package. Getting this job is a huge success for him. 21



Timeline of the 3rd batch (45 students) (Sponsor: Airtel).

of the 4th batch (45 students) (Sponsor: Airtel).


DEAF RESOURCE CENTER Entrepreneurship Training Hub Deaf Hotline Service Inclusive Community Events Deaf Technology Solutions Sign Language Interpreting Agency

THE FUTURE Time to Create a BIGGER IMPACT! ©CentumGRO 2017


©CentumGRO 2017

2017 Impact Report - Centum-GRO Initiative  

Our accomplishments during the year of 2017.

2017 Impact Report - Centum-GRO Initiative  

Our accomplishments during the year of 2017.