COVID-19: A backdoor to new opportunities for women and differently-abled people

Fahmida Hossain, Chair, Elegant IT Limited Covid

“Put your head on my shoulders”, Paul Anka sang to us these words in hopes of spreading love and joy among everyone alike. Nobody is born the same. The women and disabled in this society are often characterized under the same category, ignored for their appearance and norm. Yet, little did people know their potential with the right guidance.

We at Elegant IT Limited provide various digital services and also create opportunities for such disadvantaged people of the society. The cruelty and the demeaning attitude they face are simply unbearable for any human being, and we have taken it upon ourselves to battle this stereotype, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic at hand.

It is the women of our society who we do not look at. They are the building blocks of our livelihood. Men, being the dominant creature in our society, usually ignore a woman’s capabilities even when they are commendable. Over 43% of these skilled women are leaving their jobs for reasons ranging from pregnancy to general insecurity.

The situation is no different for the disabled. In a recent incidence, there was a case of an Australian youth being bullied for the way he looks. These events have led to many calamities and even attempted suicide. In a global perspective, 15% of the world population live a challenged lifestyle.

In Bangladesh, many are also facing the same issues. Due to this lockdown, handicapped people whose only source of income was a small shop, or the maid or garments worker who supported her entire family, may now die out of poverty before the virus. Many make a living even by begging. Today they are jobless due to the nationwide shutdown. They have spent their last saved penny and are now living in abject poverty.

Our organization, Elegant IT Limited, has taken all of this into consideration and decided that it is our time to contribute to the world in the battle against COVID-19 situation. We launched a project focusing on women and the handicapped and have been working on it for the past 3 years, developing the program and increasing workforce. We reach out to people, presenting them with work from home and freelancing opportunities so they can support their families financially. With the current coronavirus situation, this project has boosted its capabilities and is now our major focus. Our organization now provides free online ICT training courses. We are also teaching on the use of the internet, mobile data & mobile technology and its wonders and resources, to such individuals over the COVID-19 period, enabling them to freelance in the real world and put their talents to work.

Stephen Hawking, a genius unlike any, who discovered various secrets of the universe, was a physically challenged person. Taking him as an example, we have pushed through the stereotypes and provided opportunities to these people. Many of these disadvantaged people are now working under the banner of Elegant IT Limited as well.

All of the above initiatives have been taken to reduce the curve and keep people safe from coronavirus. We are proud to say that we have brought smiles to many faces, which is all we are looking for. People can now hire these individuals with the click of a button through our “online job” platform.

When we look around us, we may see a harsh world at first glance, but if we look closely, there is a flower that needs a little sunlight to blossom. We at Elegant IT aim to provide that light so they flourish despite their gender, race or appearance. National and global leaders need to come forward to support small initiatives like ours and to retune their policies and prioritize their goals to ensure human existence.

About the Author

Fahmida Hossain, Chair, Elegant IT Limited

Fahmida Hossain is a chairman of Elegant IT Limited for creating, planning, implementing, and integrating the strategic directions of the organization. In addition, she provides senior management level leadership with overall responsibilities for engineering and operations teams. She has participated in many national and international events as a panelist and organizer. Currently, she is working on a project targeting women and physically challenged people to engage them in ICT, and in this regard, she has done communication and advocacy at policy level as well as at grassroots level. In addition, she plays a role as community mobilizer for engaging women, youth, physically challenged, teachers, local governments and influencer groups.

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