When Smriti Nagpal passed out of college with a degree in business, she started a social enterprise for hearing impaired artists. Just three years later, her work matters enough for her to count among BBC’s ‘inspirational women for 2015’. Dwarka-based Nagpal is in the company of Asha Bhosle and Sania Mirza on the global list of 100, although she’s been picked in the ’30 Under 30′ category for young entrepreneurs.
It all began with her passion for sign language. “My two older siblings are hearing impaired so I grew up in an environment where I had to use sign language, and by the age of 16 I had started working as a sign language interpreter with National Association of the Deaf,” said Nagpal, sitting in her office that’s decorated with sketches by deaf artists.
In college, she did sign language news bulletins on Doordarshan. She says she didn’t want to take up a job, and worked with her father after graduating. At a Diwali mela, a deaf artist who had seen her interpreting somewhere requested her to help him find a job. He had a master’s in fine arts and felt out of place making handmade products for an NGO.