We all speak of providing equal opportunities for PwDs and that they should be treated just like abled people are, but how much of this is really put into practice? After hearing about Nipun Malhotra’s experience we realise that the differently abled are not treated quite equally. Nipun was rejected by many companies simply because of his disability. His academic qualification and talents were ignored. Starting Nipman Foundation with his mother and through Equal Opportunity Awards, they are recognising differently abled – friendly organisations.
The Nipman Foundation which works in the areas of Health, Dignity and Happiness for persons with Disabilities partnered with consulting firm E&Y for the Nipman Equal Opportunity Award. After a 3 month long selection process, Yum! Restaurants and EMC Software and Solutions won the awards for the many opportunities they have provided for PwDs. A commendable gesture by The Ministry of Social justice to collaborate with Nipman and to take the “Accessible India” campaign forward will sure change the lives of the 26.8 million PwDs in the country.
Very few companies and organisations employ differently abled people as full time employees. Amongst the few companies which do so are Yum! Resturants, EMC Software and Solutions, Uber, Ernst & Young , Vindhya E-Infomedia Pvt Ltd, Zomato and many more.
The awards were presented by former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor on the eve of World Disability Day. Addressing the gathering Mr. Tharoor said,” The Equal Opportunity Awards are an important step, as they not only recognize organisations that treat the differently abled equally but they also contribute to the overarching cause that we are here to promote of equal opportunity, because they actually encourage other people to do the same.”
It is not only by tweeting and post on social media which would help about bring a change in the lives of the differently abled, but the deeds of the recognized organisations by Nipman make a difference and there is a need of more and more public and private sector companies to treat differently abled equally. Mr. Tharoor also urged that there is an immediate need for better infrastructure and facilities for PwDs from educational and governmental sector.
On the path to make differently abled individuals independent and self – reliant, Yum! Restaurants have set up speech and hearing impaired stores. This is an initiative to contribute and give back to the community in which we operate. “Yum! has unleashed the true potential of these people through this initiative; and we are privileged and proud to be part of the journey of making these special individuals independent and self-reliant. It not only demonstrates our belief in these people, but has also proven to the world that it’s not their disability that defines them; it’s how they deal with the challenges of the disability” said Ms. Shilpa Sharma, Manager – Public Relations & CSR, Yum! Restaurant.
The special jury award winner was Vindhya E-Infotech Pvt Ltd is one-of-its-kind IT firm which is serving the global and local market by recruiting mainly PwDs and is the largest firm to recruit differently abled people. General Manger of Uber at the event said that they are pleased to expand transportation options for members of the community with different accessibility needs.
As Mr. Tharoor mentioned there is a long – long way to go to for our country to see the differently abled equally, but foundations like Nipman and the endeavours they take up surely aid in bringing about the necessary change.