Rangamma at work
One, one, one, six, three, one, done. Rangamma passes the transparent bag filled with the exact number of copper rings to her colleague with the sealing machine on her right.
“This lady has a great memory,” says the production manager. After all, what may seem like simple, repetitive movements actually require a great deal of concentration. It is not possible to carry out a recount afterwards. Rangamma has been blind since birth.
She has been working for Bosch for three years, packing repair kits for diesel pumps. “My job is really fun. My workmates are nice and I enjoy the respect,” she
says. Rangamma considers herself incredibly lucky to have found a job where she is paid the same as her non-disabled colleagues. “I tried for a long time, but no other company wanted to take me on in a reasonable capacity,” she says. For Rangamma’s boss, the message is clear: “With the right support, everyone can do something.”
The model is proving successful. When the Ability in Disability project was launched in 2009, Bosch in India employed five physically disabled people. It now has 57 associates with disabilities – and this number looks set to increase due to the excellent results.
Ability in Disability helps integrate people with disabilities.
Dates, Facts, and Figures
Bosch in Germany employs many people with disabilties.
“Productivity in our workshop is very high because our people are extremely motivated,” says Subbu M. Hedge, the plant manager in Bangalore, India. The plant packs an average of 8,000 kits for diesel systems every month for delivery to dealers. During peak times, this can increase to as many as 15,000 repair kits per month.
Rangamma's job can sometimes be stressful, like any other. But, for the most part, she is happy working with her colleagues. “I am thankful I have found this job and can lead an independent life,” she says. Rangamma, who is 30, lives with her husband an hour's bus ride from Bangalore.
Her colleagues at Bosch accompany her from the bus stop right in front of the factory gates to her work station. In the cafeteria, everyone helps out where they can, by carrying the tray or getting seconds. “Everything is adapted to my needs here. I am very lucky,” she says, smiling.