Being An Inclusive Employer: Experiences From Within

IMG_3911In an effort to facilitate the process of inclusion of PwDs at the workplace, American India Foundation (AIF) organized an Employer Sensitization event, “Being An Inclusive Employer: Experiences From Within” on 15 July 2014.

On the occasion, the Gurgaon Training Center of ‘Campaign VEER’ was launched at the SNS Foundation (see photo attached), in the presence of senior officials from Coca-Cola (Thums Up), Round Table India, SNSF, and AIF. The first batch is being trained in basic communication skills, computer skills, and soft skills amongst others to enhance employability, and they would be supported with employment opportunities once the course ends.

The keynote address was delivered by Mr. T.D. Dhariyal, Deputy Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Government of India and was followed by two panel discussions. The first panel discussion comprised of experience sharing by role models and was moderated by Mr George Abraham. Panelists include Mr. Siddhartha Jaykumar (Corporate and Global Market Operations, Induslnd Bank), Ms. Madhubala Sharma (Learning Facilitator, Concentrix), and Mr. Mohammed Farooq (Axis Bank, New Delhi). Their stories were truly inspirational and earned them a huge round of applause.

The second panel discussion was centered around the theme of Inclusion at the Workplace: Challenges, Strategies and Solutions. Participating speakers included Mr. Ayashkant Sarangi, VP and Global Head, WIPRO BPO; Mr. Nikhil Arora, VP and Managing Director, Intuit India; and Mr. Nikhil Sharma, COO, LemonTree and Redfox Hotels. The discussion revolved around the challenges the companies face in the areas of sourcing of candidates, their integration at the work-place and career progression of Persons with Disabilities.

Says M.A. Ravi Kumar, CEO, American India Foundation, “At the American India Foundation, we have been looking at the whole livelihood space for the last 8 years to make PwDs financially independent. We are delighted at the success this Veer campaign has had thus far, and are grateful to Thums Up, Being Human, and the SNS Foundation for their support. People with disabilities have the talent to pursue meaningful careers and play a role in India’s economic success. We look forward to employers who come forward to help the differently-abled join the engines that are driving our country’s economic growth.

The event was well attended by employers, entrepreneurs, HR professionals and persons with disabilities. AIF plans to organize similar events to create more awareness amongst employers with regard to inclusive practices for Persons with Disabilities.

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