Kerala: Zoho Corp. partnered with Able Aura, an organisation that aims at creating an ecosystem for Persons with Disabilities (PwD) by providing services that enrich their life experiences.
Accessibility is a hurdle for people with disabilities when travelling or visiting a tourist destination, limiting their travel experiences. Therefore, both companies came together to provide an experience of an independent hike to Southern India’s second-highest trek, Meesapulimala, Kerala. The peak is 2,640 m above sea level, and the group completed the trek in five hours with optimal rest across the stretch of 15km.
Each Zoho Corp volunteer supported their Buddy during the four-day trip recently along the trek. The group included seven volunteers from Zoho Corp., one expert for Visual Impairment, and ten participants who won the chance to go on this life-altering experience. The group included individuals with Visual Impairment, Hearing and Speech Impairment, and Intellectual Disability. All the volunteers underwent disability awareness and sensitivity training which included behavioural and communication nuances along with aspects to be kept in mind regarding their own Buddy and their conditions to ensure safety and support. Five professional mountaineers, two members from Able Aura, and a language specialist accompanied the group during the trek.
Speaking about the event, Rithika Mahbubani, Senior Manager – Customer Engagement and Marketing, Zoho One, said, “Trekking with our PwD buddies to Messapulimala was truly an enriching experience. In addition to the lovely company, the surroundings were magnificent – the hills, valleys, and greenery. When we reached the summit, the clouds were swirling around us. What made the Meesapulimala trip more memorable: Having beautiful realisations along the way and forming lasting connections with our PwD buddies. There is no greater feeling than caring for someone and helping them celebrate life. Every person you meet in life teaches you something. PwDs are masters of life; they live life to the fullest and are immensely kind. Moreover, by building relationships with PwDs through such empowering, fun activities we also stand to gain insights on how we can make our software more disabled-friendly, leading to more opportunities for PwDs in leveraging technology.”