Volume 1 Issue 4 - October 15, 2003

Employment cannot be achieved in isolation: Activists

DNIS News Network – If NGOs and corporates work in isolation, employable disabled people will continue to suffer, pointed out NGOs during a session on Employment and Economic Empowerment, at the national consultation meet on Biwako Millennium Framework.

Sanjiva Reddy, secretary of rural development, said that disabled people were to be made self-sufficient through skills honed and then matched with market requirements from employers.

“Everyday is an opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success and start with this as a base,” he added. Alop Mittal, from FICCI, who is himself a wheelchair user, pointed out how government was shrinking as an employer. He said, “It is we the disabled people who have to acquire necessary skills in ourselves so that we can demand jobs rightfully. We are unemployed but are employable and this should be our slogan.”

He quoted reports from UK, which showed that the productivity and attendance records of disabled people were better than that of non-disabled people. A survey of Barclay’s Bank revealed that disabled employees took less sick leaves than non-disabled employees.

When A K Dey of National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) made his presentation about his organisation’s various schemes the audience protested against its inordinate delays in the processing of loan applications.

NHFDC Chairman and Managing Director HC Mahajan, present in the meeting, elaborated on reasons for delay in sanctions.

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