At Shangri-La, Corporate Social Responsibility is a business philosophy that stresses on the importance of keeping the best interests of the employees, guests and the entire society in mind.

Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi in association with Noida Deaf Society celebrated Embrace – Shangri-La’s Care for People Project over High Tea on Monday, September 29, 2014 at Shangri-La Ballroom. The Noida Deaf Society (NDS) is committed to reintegrating the hearing impaired into mainstream society through life skills and children’s education. NDS provides vocational training to the students to enhance their employability quotient and enable them to become contributive partners to society.

Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi, has been working with NDS and hiring ten students from every batch who have been trained in hospitality divisions such as Concierge, Laundry, Housekeeping and Security, before they commence their internship at the hotel. The event provided a platform for an exhibition of the skill sets and adaptability of these special students in certain sections of the hospitality industry; in front of a very distinguished audience, consisting of The General Managers and other apex authorities of more than 15 five star luxury hotels of Delhi.

Farhat Jamal, Area Manager and General Manager – Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi addressed the distinguished audience and gave an introduction about Shangri-La’s association with Noida Deaf Society, since 2010 along with Dhiraj Bhushan, Director of Human Resources. This was followed by an introduction to the Noida Deaf Society by Ruma Roka, General Secretary and Founder – NDS. Roma took this opportunity to explain the work NDS is doing for the deaf community and shared her idea of main streaming the deaf youth by breaking the language barrier and enabling them to be productive partners in the industry. The guests also enjoyed a scintillating dance performance and a performance art involving miming by NDS students.

Dhiraj Bhushan, Director of Human Resources

Dhiraj Bhushan, Director of Human Resources

Farhat Jamal

Farhat Jamal

The event served as the cornerstone in the integration of the differently able in the hospitality industry as highly industrious, contributing members of the workforce.

About Noida Deaf Society

Ruma Roka was a homemaker restless to find a mission and meaning to life and a dream to start a school. One day she came across a woman interpreting the News on National TV in Sign Language. She was deeply intrigued by the use of hands for communication and decided to learn Sign Language.  In 2004, she completed her course and this knowledge of Sign language got her in touch with the Deaf community and she started researching about the Deaf, their issues and the needs. The more time she spent with the Deaf, the more she realized the need to do something. There was no looking back from this point. She realized that there were complex issues facing the Deaf in the country such as lack of education facilities, dearth of resources customized for the Deaf and hardly any avenues for holistic development. And most importantly there was no access to quality training leading to sustainable livelihood.

Farhat Jamal, Area Manager and General Manager with Dhiraj Bhushan, Director of Human Resources and NDS students

To address some of these issues she started an organization called Noida Deaf Society (NDS) in 2005. She started from a small two bed room flat belonging to her husband. The journey started with just five students and Ruma as the only trainer. Through word of mouth the organization started growing and is today reaching out to over 300 students every year. Her goal is to enable the complete integration of the Deaf into the mainstream through education and specialized vocational programs leading to meaningful employment.

Ms. Ruma Roka

Ms. Ruma Roka

“I got into deaf mind”, she tells, “trained myself for the skills they needed and today there are 32 deaf trainers who are training others. And now NDS has started six centres across India training people in life and vocational skills. We have so many languages in India and why can’t sign language be one, they always ask me.” In these 11years she has got people recruited into 140 organizations and in all industries such as banking, publishing and many more.

The cultural program set up by young minds of NDS was incredible, with students dancing on Rang De Basanti and Michael Jackson’s Beat It in a well choreographed sequence with full coordination. They did an enactment where they showed how people with disabilities are ill treated and go through difficulties in regular life.

Performance by NDS students

Performance by NDS students

The event was followed by snacks, desserts and assorted teas especially prepared by the chef at Shangri-La.

Next time you visit the hotel do look out for plaque saying “I can’t hear and speak” and you will know how to embrace one and all.

Buffet Table

Buffet Table

Happy eating & Happy reading!!!


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