New Delhi, 2 December 2014: American India Foundation (AIF) today announced the publication of Best Practices in Employment of Persons with Disabilities in the Private Sector in India: An Employer Survey. This first-of-its-kind report was launched by the Hon’ble MoS, Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar at an event to celebrate the VEERs on the occasion of International day of Persons with Disabilities. The Report has been compiled on the basis of primary research covering 105 small, medium and large companies in selected sectors employing persons with disabilities (PwDs), their level of engagement, policies and practices in place. The objective of the report was to examine the key practices, operations, policies, and critical success factors of employers in the Indian private sector who have demonstrated inclusive employment policies. The findings are relevant for the entire spectrum of stakeholders—people with disabilities, potential employers, facilitating agencies, donors, and practitioners in the social sector.
Key highlights of the Study:
- The report has been compiled on the basis of primary research covering 105 small, medium and large companies in selected sectors employing persons with disabilities, their level of engagement, policies and practices in place. The research team administered a brief questionnaire to the sample. The sectors included Hotels, Hospitals, Garments, Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Spas, Food Processing, Food and Beverage (F&B) and Retail, Electrical Goods, and Banking.
- As per the ﬁndings of this study, with the exception of a handful of employers in India such as Wipro, who have traditionally employed PWDs as an integral part of their employee policy, the practice of employing PWDs in the private sector in India started barely a decade ago when a few export houses decided to cash in on the “different side of population” to battle the attrition rate among workers in their factories.
- This study shows that in the last 5 to 7 years, employment of PWDs in the Indian private sector has started looking up across select industries.
- WHAT WE LEARNED: PATTERNS OBSERVED (some of the findings, rest are in the Report)
- Wherever initiatives of hiring PWDs were successful, the top management was actively involved in promoting inclusive HR practices.
- Most companies did not have a written policy on employment for PWDs.
- Companies employing PWDs generated immense goodwill amongst their clients and end-users for being equal opportunity employers.
- Companies reported lower attrition rate for their employees with disabilities. Supervisors universally agreed that PWDs were sincere and dedicated workers.
Also on the occasion, the First Copy of an illustrated children’s book on disability, Just Like You, was presented to the Hon’ble Minister. The three stories in this book span age groups, rural versus urban spaces, gender and types of disability. The book speaks to children at elementary school reading level, with friendly text in English and Hindi, and has attractive illustrations on every page. The book is accompanied by a training manual, An Introduction to Inclusive Education.
On the occasion, the CEO of American India Foundation, M.A. Ravi Kumar says, “American India Foundation has been working in the disability space for over six years. I’m delighted that we have published the study on best practices for employment of PwDs which highlights how employers in the private sector have sought and benefitted from hiring PwDs. We hope it will inspire the private sector to come forward and do their bit to help the differently-abled join the engines that are driving our country’s growth. Also of great significance is a children’s book Just Like You that seeks to sensitize school-going children to the integration and inclusion of special children in the classroom.”
About American India Foundation: The American India Foundation is committed to catalyzing social and economic change in India and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development, with a particular emphasis on empowering girls and women to achieve gender equity. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001, at the initiative of President Bill Clinton following a request from Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF has impacted the lives of more than 2 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018. Learn more at www.AIF.org
About AIF’s Ability Based Livelihood Empowerment (ABLE) program:
AIF is revolutionizing the industry paradigm in India by providing equal opportunity and access to employment for persons with disabilities, based on a simple belief – it is one’s ability, not disability, that defines any individual. The Ability-Based Livelihoods Empowerment program trains persons with disabilities in fundamental and specialized skill sets – and facilitates their entry into the job market through a robust advocacy platform for disability inclusion, promoting inclusive growth in India.