Mirakle Couriers : A Courier Service Run by the Deaf in India
Mirakle Couriers is a courier delivery company with a difference. They employ underprivileged deaf people who have almost no other means to earn a livelihood. India has one of the highest deaf populations in the world. NGO’s and charities try to help individuals marginalized by society, but they rely on gift funding, which often dries up and is not sustainable.
Mirakle Couriers wants to change the situation and economically empower the deaf community. At the same time, they want to provide them with better visibility in the Indian society and bring attention to their cause. Mirakle was started by Dhruv Lakra a former investment banker, who describes it as: “A Social Business, creating empowerment through professional excellence, not charity.”
All planning and organisation at Mirakle Couriers is conducted in Indian Sign Language (ISL). Branch managers manage their team through sign language and meetings are also conducted in ISL. Communications from the field are via SMS messages. Deaf people are restricted from driving in India, as a result, field staff use public transport (trains and buses) which helps keep costs down. Public transport is also more efficient, and environmentally friendly.
The deaf boys do field deliveries. The sorting of mail and data reporting is done by deaf girls. These girls have never used a computer before, but have now been trained (can you imagine doing MS Excel training in ISL?) to scan and process delivery reports on a computer. The automation helps Mirakle remain efficient, provide a reliable delivery service, and allows customers to track deliveries online.
By ensuring that they are a profitable business, Mirakle Couriers are able to provide a sustainable means of livelihood for the hearing disabled.