Legendary tennis player Martina Navratilova once said, “Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.” Those words are so true, no person should be held back because of a certain disability they pose. They may be born with a disability or some accident that has forced them to be handicapped, but no matter what the situation is, one should never consider himself worthless as there is always some work that he can do.
A vast country like India has a variety of people in it. According to the World Bank, there is about 15% of the entire world population that have some kind of disability or the other. Either they lack the proper hearing, speaking, visual or mental capabilities, or lack certain locomotor skills. These ailments make a person differ from another person and due to such problems, they are kept away from several opportunities to grow in life and thus lack a happy and fruitful life. The primary requirement in a person’s life money, as bad it may sound, it is the bare truth. One needs money to fulfill his wishes, buy himself a good living, and be independent. A regular citizen earns money when they are employed by a person, company, or government. But we often see that these people with special needs are not hired by the employers citing their disability.
Start-ups like Vindhya E-Infomedia has shown that a company can work well by employing people with disabilities. Empowerment of such people is a very graceful thing to do. They say that 90% of the people they employ, they have never been employed by any company before. Now those people are an asset to their family rather than a liability as they earn bread for them. Those people got a new shot of life and find a reason to be happy.
In 2012, Mr. Bolla, a visually impaired person born in the state of Andhra Pradesh started a company called Bollant Industries. He received his higher education from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then instead of going to Silicon Valley to earn big bucks, he opted to come back to his motherland and create job opportunities for the specially-abled people. He employed 4000 jobs for disabled people and did a great service to society.
Another such company is the Lemon Tree group of hotels which was founded in 2002. From 2006, Patu Keswani, its founder started to employ disabled people. He hired them based on their ability to do productive work and found success in it too. He formed groups of 2, which comprised of a normal person and a person with Down’s syndrome. This became quite effective as the people with Down’s syndrome were found to have great focus and did the job perfectly. The productivity of this twin group was remarkably high. The disabled person did tasks like filling the glasses, laying the table properly and the normal person did complex tasks like taking orders from the guests.
Giving employment opportunities to the disabled people have proved to be quite effective and the reasons are as follows-
1. It is always wise to consider all the options available, and if one wants to know about the various options, he should communicate with people from various sections of society. The disabled people provide a perspective that is unique and so can give the edge to its company.
2. The mining of talent is a particularly important quality of a good businessman. People have often neglected the handicapped people. So, one who taps into this enormous pool of talent, he is sure to be benefitted from it.
3. Most people come into the business to earn big bucks, so when there is an option of tax incentives by the government, this opportunity should be utilized. By providing 5% employment to the disabled people of its total workforce by utilizing adaptive or assisted technology, they make themselves eligible for financial benefits and recognition from the government.
4. Private companies often see their employees go to other firms for a better salary and package. This renders all the training and effort put by the company on the person useless. Extensive research has shown that this is not the case when people with disabilities are concerned. They are more faithful and grateful to the company which has given them a new life.
Now, several big companies like Infosys, Hindustan Unilever, Capgemini, Sodexo, and Flipkart are providing PWD employment. This inclusiveness nature of the companies provide an overall upliftment of those people and gives them empowerment.
In the current situation, the PWD employment rate is extremely low. The ‘People With Disabilities’ The act was passed for this very same reason. It made the employment rate of disabled people by the public sector to be 3 % and that of the private sectors by 5 %. But the future seems bright as more and more people come forward to work alongside with handicapped people and accept them as a part of the society and a viable asset.
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