As per one of the recent reports, PwDs constitutes 2.21% of the general population in India. However the employment rate is only 0.5 percent in top Indian firms. This signals the need for recognizing, training and nurturing talent among the disabled youth in India. The recently held 6th National Conference on Disability dealt with many themes that are key to build a sensitive and enabling ecosystem for PwDs to become employable and explore suitable ways of self-employment. The theme of voice, choice and control was divided into multiple panel discussions spread across 2 days with insightful discussions and inspirational stories from PwDs who achieved great success in their careers. The event also had a job fair and Abilympics competitions at the national level.
Besides emphasis on training in many skills, the panelists discussed many related topics like accessibility, early detection and treatment of disorders, assistive technologies for the disabled, parental support, policy intervention and large scale advocacy to create awareness and drive the desired impact.
National Abilympics Competitions
For people with disabilities to showcase their unique skills and talents, National Abilympics competitions, conducted as a part of the 6th National Conference on Disability was organised by National Abilympics Association of India (NAAI) in collaboration with Sarthak Educational Trust.
“We organised the National Abilympics 2019 to discover and nurture the talent of persons with disabilities(PwD)and make society aware about their productive skills.” said Dr Jitendra Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Sarthak Educational Trust in the event which was held in Delhi on 15th and 16th November 2019.
“There are many jobs that they can do as well as any other person, today’s event should be a great help in the endeavours” said Mr Krishan Karla, President, NAAI. A job fair which was also held as a part of the conference, complemented the saying of Mr Karla. More than 600 PwDs attended the job fair of which 450 were shortlisted by 21 corporates. Flipkart, KFC, Make My Trip, Reliance Fresh and IHG were few of the many recruiters present. Sarthak and NAAI have been working towards giving better lives to nearly 30 million PwDs in India, who want to be empowered with jobs for a long time.
Highlights of the event from skills and jobs perspective
- Inspirational stories from people born with visual impairment, physical disability, partial hearing, physical challenges, how parental and family support has helped them learn, gain confidence, get into a job and perform well to move up the career ladder.
- Studying under challenging environment, using advanced technologies and latest gadgets would help them learn new skills faster.
- By imparting skills and work-oriented training many PwDs can overcome limitations. Favourable disposition from employer while facing an interview, getting the job and performing on the job would definitely empower them.
The launch of Knowledge Bank and Disability Information Portal at www.sarthakindia.org was one of the main highlights of the event. The portal’s top features include employment support to PwDs based on their distinctive skills, Parents Interaction Forum, Alumni Forum. Corporate Sensitisation to create inclusive and cohesive workplace for PwDs.
The soon-to-be established A 3D model for the Global Resource Centre which is going to be established at Gurgaon was unveiled at the venue. The resource centre will have five wings to address health care and education, skill development, disability sensitisation, incubation centre and technology up-grade, International collaboration and media and communication advocacy programs.
The National Abilympics 2019 is spread across 10 vocational skills under the trades of ICT (Character Designing, Desktop Publishing, and E Sports), Crafts (Floral Arrangement), Food (Cooking and Bakery), Services (Jewelry Making, Tailoring/Dress Making, and Beauty Therapy), and Architecture designing through CAD.