Awaiting better society

Awaiting better society


T T Thomas and Annamma Thomas, a retired couple in city was on top of the world when their hearing-impaired engineer son Tenny Thomas landed in a corporate job with a handsome salary of Rs 4.3 lakh per annum in 2005. But, the elderly couple’s happiness was short-lived.

As recession keeps Tenny Thomas out of job for more than a year, the ageing hearts are worried for their specially-abled grown up son who is affected by profound hearing loss.

The future of their only son looks bleak for them as he is denied an opportunity everywhere he goes seeking a job.

The couple who are retired English teachers are pained that employers in both public and private sector reject his application due to his hearing disability, though they shower praise on his academic records and his technical skills. The confidence of 32-year old Tenny
Thomas who faced all odds to be one among the toppers in school and college education takes a nosedive every time he is shortlisted among the toppers for interview and then rejected.

Tenny Thomas has been an exceptional student all his life. He scored first class distinction in BE (electronics and communication) from SJCE in Mysore and 78.55 per cent (also distinction) in his M Tech course from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum. As a hearing and speech impaired student, the government rules exempt him from learning too many languages – as the special children learn a language through lip movement. For convenience and better prospect, Tenny Thomas was given English education since his childhood as the parents wanted him to go into technical education.

Tenny excelled in his examinations along with normal children understanding lessons through children’s lip movement, the skill he learnt in childhood from the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) in Mysore.

His merit and brilliant technical skills got him a corporate job as design engineer with a private firm in Bangalore in 2005. But, the company gave him a pink slip during recession in 2008 after which Tenny moved to Mysore to get employed in a smaller firm for a salary less than 50 per cent of his last salary drawn in Bangalore firm. He is again without job as the project he was working ended last year.

Govt sector blues

He was among the toppers shortlisted for the post of assistant manager with Reserve Bank of India Note Mudran Limited two months back.

He emerged the topper in the written test conducted for the post.
But, the interview panel found him not suitable for the post reserved for physically handicapped. The same was the case with Corporation Bank for clerical post.

He was shortlisted among the toppers for the interview after a written test. But, the bank officers went to extent of taking an undertaking from him that he does not know any regional language and hence unsuitable for the post – violating the government law on reservation of vacancies for physically handicapped which provides for 3 per cent quota in public and private sectors.

Infosys and Wipro who talk about following the government rules on ensuring opportunity for specially-abled also denied him a job.

The denial by both public and private sectors paints a poor light on the government’s claims and assurances for special people.

“The government must show their commitment. They should identify jobs suitable for profound hearing loss people in government sectors as done for fully blind.

We can feed them so far as we live, but who will take care of him after that? The society and government has some responsibility for such specially-abled people in a community,” says father T T Thomas.

Tenny Thomas can be contacted on the e-mail