Today, Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Tech Mahindra, hosted the sixth edition of Saajhi Samajh on ‘Including Disability at the Workplace: From Aspiration to Action’. On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December 2021, an expert-led panel discussion was hosted to promote the idea of an inclusive workplace for persons with disabilities (PWDs). The online event was attended by corporate veterans, employers, and young entrepreneurs to understand the significance of creating a conducive environment for PWDs.
During the event, in his keynote address, C P Gurnani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tech Mahindra said, “At Tech Mahindra, we are intentionally diverse and globally inclusive. We believe that diversity is the missing block of the puzzle that will unlock future growth opportunities for enterprises across the world. It is more important now than ever for businesses to embrace workforce diversity and reap its complimentary benefits in terms of increased creativity and profitability. Disabled individuals represent an untapped pool of skills that can enable businesses and industries with unique opportunities.”
On the policy front, the Disability Act, 1995 paved the way for social protection and inclusion of PWDs. Despite the policies, there is a long way for both the private and public sectors to realize the paradigm shift to the world of social inclusion of the PWDs. Even today, they still do not experience equal access to education in mainstream schools or colleges or find suitable and desired job roles in workplaces.
“Believing that there is Ability in Disability, Disability is one of our focus areas of intervention. Aligning to the UN SDG 8, our exclusive education and skill training programs (ARISE+ and SMART+) are working towards creating an inclusive world for PWDs, where they can get opportunities of work for a better future with life of dignity and confidence. I hope that this discussion platform brings out affirmative action steps from employers and experts on promoting the idea of an inclusive workplace for PWDs.”, said Rakesh Soni, Chief Executive Officer, Tech Mahindra Foundation.
Addressing the need of bringing out affirmative action steps on promoting the idea of an inclusive workplace for PWDs, the panel discussion was undertaken by experts from the social sector, government, and civil society including Mr Ravindra Singh, CEO, Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD), Ms Aradhana Lal, Vice President, Brand, Communications & Sustainability Initiatives, Lemon Tree Hotels, Mr Ravi Gopal, Program Head, BPS, Tech Mahindra, Mr Prateek Madhav, Co-Founder & CEO at AssisTech Foundation (ATF) along with Ms Shivani Dimri, Manager HR-D&I Lead, BigBasket.