Staff Reporter

Private firms told to be more open in employing such persons

Bangalore: Corporate responsibility towards persons with disabilities may be the mantra that many IT companies in the city are chanting, but when it comes to ground reality the picture is slightly different.

Even though quite a few IT/ITES companies here are consciously employing persons with disabilities, the actual numbers comprise only a minuscule of their entire workforce, according to a study conducted by the non-profit organisation, Partners in Change.

According to the study, Employability of Differently-Abled in the IT and IT-Enabled Services Sector, of the 18 companies involved in the survey, 15 were employing persons with various disabilities while three were not. The number of persons employed from the disability sector ranged from two to 89 people, with some large companies with a workforce of more than 5,000 employing less than 0.1 per cent or none at all, while a few companies with a smaller workforce employing as many as 5 per cent disabled people.

These findings were presented during a consultation organised by Partners in Change here on Friday, attended by representatives from the disability sector, industry, voluntary organisations and the Government. Most of the disabled persons employed (88 per cent) were physically challenged while only six per cent were visually impaired and another six per cent were speech-impaired. Ninety-four per cent of the companies said they were equal opportunity employers. It was also found in the study that only 33 per cent had audited the company’s physical access while the rest had not.

Das Suryawanshi, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, stressed the need for more private sector companies to be open to employing disabled persons.

Vedamurthy, Director for Welfare of Disabled, spoke about the various government schemes to provide employment to disabled persons.