AGRA CONVENTION 2014
Blind Stars Beyond Facebook Bridging The Gap
7th to 9th November, 2014
Employment Scenario in public and private sector for the Visually Impaired in India:
The speakers of this session were Mrs. Veena M Verma, Miss Neha Agarwal and Mr. Avinash Shahi.
Public Sector Units have 3% reservation for People with Disabilities. Participation of visually impaired people in the workforce of state-owned companies is not unsatisfactory if not satisfactory. But, it is the private sector where the visually impaired are lagging behind. The following are the core reasons behind this by Mrs. Veena M Verma:-
- There are no legal provisions as to ensure employment for people with disabilities in the private sector.
- Lack of sensitization and infrastructure for the visually impaired.
- The private sector is a very competitive place and people with visual impairment do not get the training to get skilled to perform in such a competitive environment. There is no agency dedicatedly working for this cause.
- Lack of adaptability in visually impaired candidates which is a result of considering it the obligation of the organization to adapt to their needs. It has to be a two-way learning process.
Miss Neha Agarwal, a visually impaired Project Manager with IBM, addressed the question as to why, when a visually impaired person is employed in the private sector, they are often not retained by the organization for a long time. The candidate would have to take the first step towards adapting to the demands of the job if he/she wants the organization to adapt to their needs. She shared how she gained the trust of her employers and became an asset to her organization
- She made a lot of changes in her personality to adapt to the environment of her organization. Making small changes like updating her dressing sense, honing her communication skills made a big impact that she was trying to fit in.
- When she took some steps towards ‘fitting in’, her employers and colleagues took a step forward to accepting her too.
- She polished her communication skills and proved herself worthy of the responsibility given to her.
- She keeps updating her skills to keep up with her sighted colleagues.
Mr. Avinash Shahi shed some light on the question of PWD Act and how it impacted the Employment Scenario. The Persons with Disability Act was implemented in its full fledged form in the year 1995 after years and years of struggle. But still, there are a lot of hurdles in achieving that PWD candidates face. Getting a disability certificate is one of the biggest issues. According to a report published in a leading daily, 70% of PWD do not have a disability certificate. ‘Identification’ of suitable jobs for the visually impaired and other PWD is not fair and discriminatory. These challenges need to be addressed by the government.
Read the full report – Agra Convention 2014 – Report – HTML with Audio/Video