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Companies open gates for differently - abled people

Views 2 Views    Comments 0 Comments    Share Share    Posted 15-12-2008  
New Delhi,Dec 15,2008:Firms like MphasiS believe in an inclusive workplace, providing equal opportunities to all.

This week, MphasiS (an EDS company) won the prestigious National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in the category of Best Employer, and the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Differently abled People (NCPEDP) — Shell Helen Keller Award 2008.

The two awards recognise the efforts of MphasiS to build an inclusive workplace and are an endorsement of commitment towards providing equal work opportunities to all.

The awards conferred on MphasiS cite that 1.57 percent of the total workforce at MphasiS come in the category of differently-abled people. The 327 employees are engineers, trainers, chartered accountants, people in administration, executives, call centre agents and customer support associates.

"Creating an inclusive workplace is the fulfilment of our corporate mission. With our ongoing projects, we hope to invest in training more such individuals and add them to our diverse workforce," says Jeya Kumar, CEO of MphasiS.

There are other companies, which are taking to the cause. Infosys BPO has 240 such employees, 5 percent of the total workforce. Some of them work on the client floors, while others are in the business-enabling function. This year, one of its differently-abled employees, Vijay Krishnamani, who is hearing impaired, won the best differently-abled employee award from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

Infosys BPO has an `Equal Opportunity Team` to support differently-abled people right from the application stage to their induction into the team.

Another company, AppLabs, puts a figure of 1-1.5 percent to such workforce. Arun Rao, vice-president (human resources), AppLabs, says: "Most of these groups of employees are engaged with our projects delivered offshore. We provide them the facility of an attendant, disable friendly rest rooms, among others. We have also been cautious to treat them just as other employees. Compensation is on a par, driven by capability and competence. The same rules and regulations drafted by the company apply to every staff working with us."

Rajalakshmi, HR, Maveric Systems, says: "The percentage of the differently-abled workforce in Maveric Systems is 2 percent as of now. To advance this effort we are participating in the ABILITY job fair that is organised specially for the physically challenged on January 10 and 11, 2009."

While such initiatives enhance the public image of the company, it has other advantages as well. Narayanan Nair, head-recruitment, MphasiS, says: "From our experience, we have observed that differently-abled employees come with an willingness to go the extra mile. They bring in a lot of positive energy to the work environment and are committed to the opportunity provided. The average tenure of these employees also turns out to be higher.”

But there are a handful of companies working in the area. Figures across Indian Inc don`t portray a beautiful picture.
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