Shilpa Iyengar

Shilpa is one of the golden feathers in Diya’s crown. Shilpa, a shy, timid, girl who came to Diya, has outdone herself in many ways, from being an intern at Thomson Reuters, to being the Assistant Secretary at Diya Foundation.

With support from Diya Foundation, she was able to successfully complete an 18 month long multimedia program, and has been trained in proof-reading. She was also trained on office assistance which includes computer-related tasks like scanning documents, sending documents through email, maintaining databases in excel etc that has helped her land at her current job.  During the onboarding, she presents a self advocacy kit which says how to treat her and to support her, and sensitises her co-workers. 

The trainings on personal grooming and self care, and assisted living, has made her independent in taking care of her own. Let alone purchasing for and planning her own meals, she can make snacks like avalakki to 60-70 persons. For herself, she cooks chapathi, puri, tea, bournvita and sometimes, the mouth-watering yippie maggie.

Apart from her work, she has explored new avenues for leisurely activities too. She likes to do an hour of yoga everyday. Occasionally, she goes for walks around her colony. An yearly marathon is something Shilpa never skips. Other than TV, puzzles and carroms with her friends are her favourites. She also takes part in events like Quizzabled which helps her with general knowledge and in paper recycling workshops that develops her artistic and creative skills.


Mohan is one of the lead workers at Diya Innovation. A person who didn’t know anything about mechanical tools, even the basic ones like screw drivers and spanners, he now single-handedly assembles and sets up the cutting machine and grinding machine. He knows all the tools required for a particular work and sets up the workplace by the time his co-workers come.

Mohan, who was admitted to Diya as a very shy person was given a lot of exposure by the trainers. He was taken outside of the training centre as part of the training programme and shown how to cross the road, go to restaurants etc. All these upped his confidence. He now communicates well and talks fluently. He also has a good circle of friends.

As a person who struggled with consistency, Mohan has improved a lot. He doesn’t miss a day at work, comes even on Sundays, and is very enthusiastic about what he gets to do.

Just not this, Mohan has improved on his soft skills too. All his trainers are all-praise for his helping and sharing nature.

Mohan can even travel on his own by public transport. All he needs is a paper with the destination name written on it, and he reaches the place by bus, seeking passers-byes help.

Nameeth’s online training program began with lessons on the relationship between nutrition and health, identifying food groups and the importance of a balanced diet. His Life skills Trainer Reena, along with parental support, took him through hands-on-training to light a stove, identify ingredients and cook simple and healthy breakfast items like vegetable upma and poha. Along with this, he also learnt to set a dining table, wash and wipe dishes and clean the food preparation area. He was encouraged to take part in daily household chores like sweeping and mopping the floor, ironing and folding clothes. Lessons in personal safety, money and time were also included. Nameeth learnt to identify, sort, match and count notes and coins. Learning to read the clock was introduced. He was guided through leisure time with art and craft activities and virtual tours to places of interest. His trainer was very happy with Nameeth’s enthusiasm and active participation during these classes and for the progress he has made in the past three months.
Diya’s online training program has ensured that Chaitanya continues to make progress in life skills. Lessons in personal finance included learning to budget his weekly expenses for groceries and monthly expenses for laundry items. Classes in home maintenance saw him engaged in sorting laundry, ironing and folding clothes, sweeping and mopping, watering plants. Chaitanya enjoys cooking and baking. So Padma, Life skills Trainer at Diya, ensured that he systematically learnt to make a simple sandwich, cut vegetables, sprout pulses, cook tomato rice, bake butter cookies and try his hand at making a jar of homemade peanut butter. Baking his own birthday cake with a little help from his Mum brought to fore his skills. He also learnt the importance of planning a balanced meal. Identifying the need for proper food storage, sorting cutlery, washing and wiping dishes, cleaning the kitchen area, were other lessons included in the training program. With parental support and regular interactions with his Trainer, Chaitanya followed a regular exercise schedule, spent his leisure time drawing and painting, went on a virtual tour of the Mysore zoo and met with his friends from Diya on a whatsapp call.


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