India has a large population of deaf people. It is very unfortunate that in India, not only do you have to cope with your daily struggle, you are also shackled by the clutches of social stigma widespread in India. By founding Mirakle Couriers, Dhruv Lakra is economically empowering these people. Mirakle Couriers employs only deaf people.
All the staff members including delivery personnel are deaf. The company’s business model is based on creating a service driven profitable enterprise that uses the deaf. To this end, they marry professional excellence with social cause.
Mirakle Couriers is not a non-profit or a charity. They are a social enterprise. He faced a lot of challenges, most importantly the attitude’s of his employee’s families.
While some are proud, most are over-protective about their children, especially girls.
Deliveries are done by boys, while sorting, accounting and other back-end work are done by girls.
Girls do not go for deliveries only because they would be more vulnerable to abuse and bias, says Lakra.
He also spent a lot of time on the job helping to fine-tune the process of courier delivery. His 15-member team devised signs to communicate possibly everything we would deem mundane. Names of places: Wavy hands indicate Chowpatty or Charni Road, Vile Parle is indicated by a biscuit-bite gesture. Dhruv ensures he is in touch with all of his boys on the field.
SMS is our lifeline at times, he says.
There is so much we do not know about people a little different from us. We need to embed a sensitive chip into our thought process. Future plans for Mirakle Couriers include expanding their operations beyond Mumbai.