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Disable, not unable

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dear Readers,
December 3 was World Disability Day and a friend was in an animated discussion on inclusive opportunities that exist for the differently-abled. She also shared her experience of working with the visually impaired. I heard her talk about the intelligence of her challenged colleagues and their struggle to be a part of important decision making processes. There were, more often than not, overruled. Listening to her and others, it did strike me that most people find it extremely uncomfortable to deal with people who are challenged in some manner. And it is not for lack of good intentions. We just don’t understand their capabilities or skills. There are enough role models to appreciate the girth they have to achieve. They may be restricted but definitely not unable.

World Disability Day was celebrated around the world and more particularly in India by a number of organisations. It is heartening to see the momentum picking up even in the corporate world where inclusive policies and practices have enabled a number of challenged persons to enter the commercial workforce. The Tata group has as always been a front runner with Titan announcing jobs for the unsighted. Tata Steel organized sports and cultural events for special children who need that encouragement early on to gain confidence. A Job fair held by the Blind People’s Association (BPA) of Ahmedabad is said to have attracted around 30 companies with approximately 700 jobs being offered. The government promoted the cause for the differently abled with various functions including the National Award for Persons with Disabilities, which was presented to Kedar Indurkar by President Pratibha Patil. The National Trust set up by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, provides marketing assistance to challenged persons. A program was  organized on the 4th of December to create awareness of the ARUNIM stores at the Dilli Haat, Pitampura in Delhi where products from various NGOs and individuals will be available for sale all the year round.

You will find on this page unique social entrepreneurs who have made special people central to their business or are themselves differently-abled in some way. We hope you support them for when we get to know better, we realize more and more just how able they are!

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