I met Sachin Malhan, one of the co-founder's of Inclusive Planet on Sunday at a get-together at Ashoka office in Bangalore. Honestly, like most of us I know about them, have heard about them in some context or the other. But till yesterday, i did not know the inside story of this venture - the highs and lows included.For one, Inclusive Planet is clearly a brave attempt to get the disjointed community of visually challenged at one platform. Many skeptics among us will question- so whats the big deal? The Big Deal is that as a nation we do not have data/info of visually challenged in our country. We have a ballpark figure, but if we want to reach out to this community we don't have a source through which we can do that. Honestly, getting this community on one single platform to connect, collaborate and empower them to build a voice for themselves is a very big deal.
What's even more outstanding is the fact that the entrepreneurs behind this venture are smart young men, with strong vision ( people who can get the best of high paying jobs anywhere) to genuinely empower this community worldwide. They want to build a sustainable platform and not just do social work but build social value. I asked Sachin Malhan on what he is trying to create and pat came his reply "a platform for the visually challenged and in due course a platform led by them" he says "we are very clear on the fact, that this has to emerge as a strong voice for the community which is completely managed by this community itself, we are not here with an agenda to create the biggest social enterprise but to create the biggest voice for visually impaired." I believed him, he has an honesty and passion which is hard to ignore.Its a tough task which i am sure he will be able to accomplish.
6000 visually challenged are already active on Inclusive Planet, they are constantly adding features and meaningful engagement programmes for their target audience. Independently, i spoke to one regular user of the platform and he remarked, "I am hoping they have more and more features for us but thanks to them atleast now we have a place to be ourselves and meaningfully engage with a large community, it definitely helps."Why am i writing about this particular startup? Two reasons
1. To urge all the sighted readers to start thinking of ways in which we can all do our bit for this cause
2. Had Inclusive Planet come to us from the West we would all be gung ho and talking about it big time, this is an Indian Startup which is globally addressing the needs of visually challenged. With an audience from all over the world, we need to applaud this attempt of getting the challenged connected and
So dear Startups and dear Readers, lets start thinking on what all we can do.
- Shradha Sharma