IT sector gets a bit disabled friendly

Information Technology companies, 4% of which had made their office buildings employment friendly, have started hiring disabled people in good numbers. Thanks to a Union government initiative where it contributes to the provident fund of physically challenged employees with salary over ₹ 25,000, Hyderabad’s IT industry has hired close to 132 new staff in various posts.

The government of India will pay the PF of these employees for a period of three years. The percentage of physically challenged people who are currently employed in IT industry in the city is 1.6, which is higher than the government service sector. National Association of Software and Service Companies’ Foundation has been mooting the disabled friendly move for over a three years now. The foundation had also popularised the scheme by interfacing between national and local government partners.

Sneha Dutta, a 23-year-old IT professional who benefited from the implementation of the scheme said, “The initiative not just encourages companies to hire people with disability but also allows them to diversify their work atmosphere. Diverse work atmosphere is now a criteria that gets considered during global partnerships”. Even the international labour organisation had mandated diverse workspaces as a development criterion. Most people who were recruited under the scheme, were, however, those with walking disabilities. “Visually challenged and hearing impaired people are still trickling into offices,” said Ms. Dutta.

Sensitisation drives

NASSCOM has been holding career guidance drives for physically challenged for almost three years. In a recent career motivation workshop held in the city where NASSCOM partnered with Microsoft, a good 3% of young girls who attended were physically challenged. The foundation has also been conducting closed-door leadership roundtables in the city to get more employers on board. Such meets are meant to be a key advocacy tool when it comes to people with disability. “Wipro recently had included terms which are part of daily communication in the IT industry to sign language dictionary. This has also contributed to integrating persons with hearing disabilities into their workplace since 2012,” said NASSCOM Foundation’s CEO, Srikant Sinha.

In fact, a group of 10 to 15 companies which have already remodelled their buildings to make them more disability friendly are also leading the advocacy for employing physically challenged people. The city’s IT area is expected to be completely disabled friendly by the year 2022, a handout given by the State IT department had ascertained in 2016.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 4:42:19 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/it-sector-gets-disabled-friendly/article19142830.ece