Disabled employees are handling important assignments in areas like information systems, laboratory, accounts, human resource, etc. We are glad to state that almost all such employees have handled their assignments with aplomb and have far exceeded our expectations, says S. Mohan Executive Director (H.R.D.), Bharat Petroleum Company Limited (B.P.C.L.), in an interview to Parvinder Singh.
1. B.P.C.L. has been awarded N.C.P.E.D.P.-Shell Helen Keller Award for the second time in recognition of its disabled-friendly employment policy. Your reaction on this.
We accept the award with humility. This award will give a fillip to our continuing efforts to promote employment of disabled people.
2. As an organisation, what have been your experiences with disabled employees in terms of performance and productivity?
Our corporate philosophy is “providing equal opportunities to people with disabilities”. Consistent with this philosophy we have been giving challenging assignments to disabled people. We have disabled employees handling important assignments in areas like information systems, laboratory, accounts, human resource, etc. We are glad to state that almost all such employees have handled their assignments with aplomb and have far exceeded our expectations.
3. What is your policy towards making workspace and production process accessible to disabled employees?
Our policy is to provide them a high quality of work life and a good working environment within the organisation. Therefore, we do not spare any efforts to make their work life as comfortable as possible. For instance, visually impaired employees are provided with a customised computer with a scanner, screen reader and optical character recogniser. Thus, allowing them to work independently.
4. Please share with our readers, the status of employment of disabled people in terms of their representation in the total workforce?
Currently, we have 166 disabled employees in our Corporation out of a total of 1,2082. The disabilities range from visual and hearing impaired, orthopaedic and locomotor disabled to severely disabled.
5. What are your plans for the future? Are new technologies or strategies being considered or used for greater inclusion of disabled employees at all levels?
Being a refining and marketing company, we do not have too many avenues for creation of employment opportunities for disabled people. At the same time, we are continuously updating our existing technology and also are in the forefront of introducing state-of-art technology in our processes and applications. By doing so, if new employment opportunities are generated for disabled people, we shall certainly employ disabled people against such positions.
6. As one of the model employers for people with disabilities what is the message you would like to extend to industry on employability of disabled people?
It is our experience that persons with disabilities are second to none in terms of performance, output, knowledge and attitude. Therefore, industry, more particularly the service industry (B.P.O.’s, hospitality etc) should endeavour to engage persons with disability in larger number and provide them with challenging assignments.