“AIF and SAMEIP have transformed my life, both personally and professionally. While the skills in banking operations developed through SAMEIP have enabled me to secure a job at a multi-national bank in Chennai, it has also helped me develop soft skills that are useful in both personal and professional life.”

31 year-old GB Karthik from Chennai was not born with a disability. An accident at the age of 11 left him with locomotor disability, impacting his ability to walk. While the accident changed the course of his life and presented unrelenting challenges, it could not stop the confident and optimistic Karthik. His grit and resilience have earned him appreciation and accolades at Wells Fargo Bank, where Karthik works as a Finance Associate. Karthik is one of the many youth with disabilities who have benefitted from AIF’s Project SAMEIP under the Ability Based Livelihoods Empowerment (ABLE).

As per a 2016 report published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, India has 26.8 million Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). Despite Government of India’s mandate of 4% reservations for PwDs in the government sector, only 0.54% of employees in PSUs, 0.28% employees in the private sector and a dismal 0.05% in multinationals are PwDs.

With immense scope for improvement, AIF’s ABLE program is revolutionizing the industry paradigm in India by advocating for equal opportunities, access to employment, and promoting inclusive growth and equity. Project SAMEIP under the ABLE program engineered a pathway for Karthik to develop his technical skills. Training and building industry linkages in the digitally transformed Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) Sector, The Project also enabled him to secure a sustainable and dignified livelihood.

Shreya comes with thirteen years of experience in the field of communication, management, business development, marketing and advocacy, across development and private sectors. As a Board Member looking after Communication and Strategy for “Reach Out & Pass It On Foundation”, she has been a proponent of improved access to opportunities in the field of education and livelihood to the under-served communities over the last decade. She has her Masters in English Literature as well as Entrepreneurship Management and has represented her organization among cohorts of Policy and Communications leaders from across the world.

As a Dot Connector, her work experience as a communications and advocacy lead has led her to gainfully collaborate with government bodies and international organizations/entities like USAID, Houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Atlas Network and WWF, employing a compelling mix of theoretical insights and analytical tools, poised to deliver critical application of communication mediation in the new media ecology.

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