For 26-year-old P. Prema, a Masters in Computer Applications, the job-hunting phase brought back a personal hell. Afflicted with polio since childhood, dependent on her parents, her education now seemed useless because of her restricted mobility. Till one fine day a job landed in her lap, as if from the skies. The hiring company: Laser Soft Infosystems. Prema now works as a software programmer for them, and is treated on a par with all her ‘normal’ colleagues—both salary-wise and, more importantly, in sheer human terms. "I am really happy to be financially independent," she says.
Chennai-based Laser Soft, which makes financial software, is the brainchild of B. Suresh Kamath, whose business model goes well beyond that of the usual gold-rush profiteer. An engineer by training, he set up his company on a paltry sum of Rs 200. Says Kamath: "Coming from a middle-class background, I knew that while iit and iim graduates are lapped up by top-rung companies, getting a job remains a distant dream for middle-class youth and the handicapped."
It’s a cruel irony of...