Till date, specially abled people or persons with disabilities (PwD) face discrimination, be it in education, in the job sector or any other field. Accepting them with their limitations is a goal which is not yet completely reached, even though efforts are on and thankfully awareness is increasing. What are companies doing to benefit these people? The CSR Journal takes a look at some of the latest CSR initiatives for the specially abled.
LawSikho’s 100% scholarships for persons with disability
Gurugram-based legal edtech company LawSikho just a few days ago announced that they will be giving 100 percent scholarships for 500 persons with disabilities (PwD). As per their announcement, candidates who complete the courses successfully will be co-certiﬁed by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
‘Law graduates and law students will have to take an online admission test to decide who is eligible for the scholarships, which will cover LawSikho’s test prep courses for government jobs, upskilling courses focused on jobs in the private sector, and remote freelance work courses focused to international markets like US, UK and Canada. To qualify for the admission test, candidates must produce a government-issued disability card or certiﬁcate of disability. The admission test will be held in October, but candidates can appear for an online on-demand admission test even later,’ reads the announcement.
Bajaj Finserv and Sightsavers India working for inclusive education and disability rights
Bajaj Finserv Limited, the holding company of the financial services businesses of the Bajaj Group recently joined hands with Sightsavers India (an NGO working for persons with disabilities) to launch their social inclusion and inclusive education programmes in Raisen, Khagariya, Kasganj, and Pratapgarh districts of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, respectively.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited, the general insurance arm of Bajaj Finserv, will be reportedly extending their support to ensure quality education is imparted to children with visual impairment and help support people with disabilities. Through this association, Bajaj Finserv Limited and Sightsavers have announced that they will provide support to children who are blind or visually impaired to receive extensive education support while ensuring their inclusion in mainstream education.
Reportedly, children under the age of 5 to 18 years will be supported under this Inclusive Education Programme. Also, 400 children with visual impairment from the four districts will get support and inclusion in mainstream education as part of this programme, as per the announcement.
They further announced that with support from Bajaj Finserv, Sightsavers will also help people with disabilities over the age of 18 gain access to social security benefits and employment opportunities. The aim behind the initiative is social inclusion for persons with disabilities while making sure they receive equal rights and are not subjected to discrimination, particularly in the areas of education, healthcare, and income.
SBI Foundation and ACE Social Foundation’s ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ Centre in Mumbai
SBI Foundation along with ACE Social Foundation has launched an empathy experience centre, ‘Dialogue in the Dark’, at Maker Chambers III at Nariman Point, Mumbai. Shri Om Prakash Mishra, DMD (HR) & CDO, SBI, inaugurated the centre on 29th September 2022.
SBI Foundation’s Centre of Excellence for PwDs (persons with disabilities) endeavours to sensitise and build awareness among the general public on the abilities of PwDs, specifically the visually impaired. The ‘Dialogue in the Dark’ centre in Mumbai is open to corporates and the public, without any entry fee.
Hero MotoCorp’s retro fitted scooters for specially-abled ex-CRPF personnel
Hero MotoCorp, recently announced a unique package for ex-Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and their families. Launched under the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility platform ‘Hero We Care’, the ‘Hero Salutes Heroes of the Nation’ project will hand over 90 retro fitted Hero Destini 125 scooters- supported by two auxiliary wheels in the rear -which have been customised to suit the riding requirements of the divyangex-personnel who were disabled while in service.
As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Hero MotoCorp and the CRPF Family Welfare Association (CWA), the project will also offer a unique welfare package for 200 identified CRPF families who have been affected severely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Allcargo Logistics and Vipla Foundation’s missed call helpline for childhood hearing deficiency intervention
Logistics solutions provider Allcargo Logistics recently collaborated with Vipla Foundation to launch DialforDhvani missed call helpline number. The purpose is to make early identification and intervention services and related consultations available to parents of young children suffering from hearing loss in particular as well as to the people in general.
At an event recently held in Mumbai, Arathi Shetty, Non-Executive Director, Allcargo Logistics spearheading the groups CSR initiatives, officially unveiled the DialforDhvani missed call helpline number – 022-49393333. The missed call helpline number will encourage parents, caregivers, community workers and people in general to seek consultations and early intervention guidance for children with possible hearing deficiency.
‘On receiving a missed call, experts from Vipla Foundation will get in touch with the caller and ascertain the requirements of hearing screening for a child. They also advise the help seekers on Dhvani Intervention Programme which includes free audiological screening, speech therapy and school readiness sessions for children in the age group of 0-6 years. The helpline also offers nearby references for consultations across India and follow-ups for families residing beyond Mumbai region,’ as per the announcement.
Signify and Samarthanam Trust announced 10 computer labs for blind schools across India
Signify, a leader in lighting, has partnered with Samarthanam Trust to set up 10 computer labs in blind schools across India, under its EcoLink Cares CSR Program. This initiative will reportedly enable more than 1,000 visually impaired students to improve their digital literacy and also access digital learning opportunities to support their school education, thereby preparing them for better career opportunities in the future.
As per their announcement, under this program, each school will be equipped with modern computer lab featuring latest equipment and audio-visual aids. This will enable the visually impaired students to access E-Sugam Pustakaalaya, an online library that hosts more than 11 lakh digital audio book titles, to supplement their academic performance.
Additionally, the company also announced that they will be upgrading the overall infrastructure in these labs to ensure a more comfortable environment for children to learn, grow and explore. The program was recently inaugurated by the company at an event organized at the Rashtriya Virjanand Andh Kanya Senior Secondary School in Vikaspuri, New Delhi.
Microsoft and EnAble India’s initiative for employment of persons with disabilities
Microsoft recently announced collaboration with EnAble India to unlock 100,000 opportunities for persons with disabilities (PwDs). The initiative, called ‘Inclusion to Action’, reportedly aims to provide an opportunity platform, bringing together more than 100 organizations in the country across financial services, manufacturing, retail and tech sectors to work together on various tech skilling, mentorship, internship and employment initiatives to achieve economies of scale in the common goal of economic empowerment for PwDs.
Confronting several barriers to equal opportunities at work, people with disabilities experience higher rates of unemployment and socio-economic inequalities. To address these challenges, people with disabilities need to have same access as everyone else to education and job opportunities. Technology can play an important role in unlocking this access through mentoring and skills development, and by better connecting people with disabilities to available job opportunities.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between EnAble India and Microsoft aims to create an ecosystem for both opportunity seekers and providers with initiatives ranging from tech skilling and mentorship to internships and jobs. The technical skilling programs are designed to enhance understanding of digital accessibility as organizations are increasingly shaping their hybrid work strategies.
The increased representation of PwDs will also lead to inclusive product development, which can in turn aid technology users with disabilities. In addition, persons with disabilities get access to training curriculum on modern workplace applications for higher productivity and effective collaboration.
Primus Partners and Khabri Audio’s #VoiceOfBlinds skilling initiative
Strategy firm Primus Partners has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with vernacular audio learning platform Khabri Audio Pvt. Ltd. for #VoiceOfBlinds skilling initiative to bring about a social change by positively impacting lives of millions of visually impaired people worldwide.
With this MoU, both the organizations have committed to making a difference in the lives of visually challenged community by aiding inclusivity, improving quality of lives, and empowering the community at large. #VoiceOfBlinds will be rolled out in collaboration with National Association for the Blind.
‘As part of the #VoiceOfBlinds initiative, Khabri has also curated specialized segment of experts in psychological, social, and financial subjects as a part of the skill development programme. Live sessions are also being designed with experts to ensure that visually impaired community is not left behind. Additionally, as a part of the initiative, #VoiceOfBlinds has also introduced a dedicated content channel to host live counselling sessions and celebrity-led talk shows to further their commitment towards empowering the blind community across India. The platform will also host videos on upskilling such as English speaking, ways of earning, financial and digital literacy, personality development, amongst other career related topics to help the community get better employment opportunity within and outside India,’ they announced.
Student-led NGO T.E.A.M’s prosthetic limb donation drive
T.E.A.M a student-led NGO along with 11 students from various well-known schools across Mumbai organized a prosthetic limb donation drive in their new initiative, “Gift a Foot” in May this year. The drive was meant for over 150 people living below the poverty line from various parts of Maharashtra. T.E.AM joined hands with Jaipur Foot and Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayta Samiti (the world’s largest organization for the disabled) to enable this noble cause at the Orthopedic department at KEM Hospital, Parel in Mumbai.