Most corporate houses inaccessible for disabled: study


Kolkata : Nearly 60 percent corporate houses in eastern India are still inaccessible for the disabled with regard to employment while 73 percent of the companies do not have any Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy to employ physically-challenged people.

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A joint study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) released Friday evening revealed that 59 percent of corporate houses in the eastern region are still inaccessible for people with disability (PWD).

It said 73 percent of the business houses do not have any CSR policies to employ physically-challenged people in their organisations.

To support inclusion of PWD in mainstream jobs, TCS, a part of Asia's largest conglomerate Tata Group, conducted the study on employability of differently-abled people in the corporate firms.

The CII-TCS study was conducted over a period of three months.

The finding said only 38 percent of companies which had responded to the CII-TCS survey have employed differently-abled persons.

Altogether 50 companies (35 IT/ITeS and 15 non-IT companies) were approached for conducting the study in West Bengal.

The survey revealed that despite CSR policies in multi-national companies and IT firms, there were many constraints for the differently-abled persons to get direct access to the industry.

According to the 2001 census, over 20 million people, who constitute 2.13 percent of country's total population, suffer from disability in India.

"We are trying to work out some policies to enhance employability of PWDs in the corporate and Information Technology (IT) sector. But as of now nothing concrete has been worked out in our state," West Bengal IT Promotion Cell head Swarup Roy told IANS on the sidelines of the event.

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT consultancy firm and business-process outsourcing (BPO) organisation with an employee strength of 95,000, Asia's largest among all the Indian IT companies.

"With the increasing job opportunities in the BPO sector, which is projected to be over 600,000 only in 2008, we need to increase employability of disabled in the corporate sectors. The office of the Commissioner of Disabled, West Bengal ensures rights to the PWD in the state," said West Bengal Assistance Commissioner (PWD) K.S. Adhikaree during the Friday seminar here.

"There's also a mismatch between the skills imparted by the NGOs to equip PWD getting into the mainstream jobs and the requirement of the companies. Only six percent of 50-odd NGOs, working in this sector, provide computer training to PWD," the report pointed out.