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India: ‘Create Employment Exchange for Disabled’

The New Indian Express, Bangalore, 30 November 2013 - There is an urgent need to set up an employment exchange system for the differently-abled in the country, said retired IPS officer and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Kiran Bedi.

She was speaking at a press conference announcing the second edition of the two-day India Inclusion Summit that is being held in the city on Friday and Saturday.

“The New Companies Act mandates 2 percent spending on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). I think companies should initiate efforts to set up employment exchanges for the differently-abled and provide a linkage between companies and the differently- abled,” she said.

These linkages could create a demand for trainers who can help develop skills that companies require in order to hire the differently-abled, she added.

There are just about 100,000 differently-abled people employed in the organised sector according to rough estimates. This shows how difficult it is for the differently-abled to get jobs, noted V R Ferose, senior VP, Globalisation Services, SAP AG. Siddharth Jayakumar, manager, Induslnd Bank Limited, who is autistic, said battling the mindset of global employers was the biggest challenge when it came to employing the differently-abled.

“Convincing the employer that this person can do a better job than others is difficult. Numbers by itself do not mean anything unless employers are persuaded to hire the differently-abled,” he said. He added that it was the responsibility of  employers to train the differently-abled with the requisite skills.   An important part of the two-day summit is to raise funds for three projects-- EnAble India, Project Prayas and Sampoorna Music Therapy School.

“We have raised `27 lakh till now through corporates attending the fund raising dinners,” Ferose said.


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