22 firms shortlist 61 candidates at job fair for disabled
CHANDIGARH: In 2000, when the first career fair for persons with disabilities (PWD) was organized at the National Institute of Technical Training and Research (NITTTR) in Sector 26, just one multi-national firm came up for the placement exercise organized jointly by NITTTR and Confederation of India Industry (CII).
Inspired by the news of 14 candidates being shortlisted by the firm, another multinational came up and asked the institute to host an exclusive fair for them. That year, NITTTR hosted five job fairs for various companies. The exercise was scaled up over the subsequent years and 2013 registered a record 78 students were shortlisted in a single day. It was a long journey from the first fair, where it had taken an entire year to find just one firm that would be willing to hire disabled persons.
"The job fair took shape after many candidates reported being rejected by firms when they disclosed their disabilities. These firms comfortably hired candidates who didn't disclose their disability. Further, those with orthopedic disabilities were at an advantage, while the rest were usually left out," said JS Saini, dean of extension services and consultancy at NITTTR.
This year, the job fair organized on Friday saw 61 disabled candidates being shortlisted for various job profiles by 22 companies at 'Ability 2015', which is the 15th such fair. It is being jointly organized by CII, NITTTR and Sarthak Educational Trust.
A day earlier, a stakeholder sensitization workshop was also conducted in order to tell companies about the candidates that would appear for the fair.
Yogendra Tripathi, joint secretary and financial adviser at ministry of human resource development, said that it was estimated that out of 4.6lakh jobs in public sector units identified for PWDs, only 20,000 have been filled. "In government department and ministry's jobs, out of 2.8 lakh identified for PWDs, only 19,000 have been actually filled. Hence, against the required reservation of 3%, only 0.37 % and 0.44 % of total jobs have actually been filled by PWDs in government departments, ministries, and PSUs, respectively," he added.
Will join hands to help disabled: UT adviser
Inaugurating the fair, UT adviser Vijay Kumar Dev said the UT administration was committed to helping the differently-abled. "We will join hands with NITTTR and CII and take more and more such noble initiatives. These candidates are not disabled, rather they are differently-abled. They have certain unique and special powers and capabilities which we need to identify and harness." He called upon the industry to put in place a system under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to first hire such people and then provide them with the desired skills and training. "The companies should come up with dedicated skill centers in their premises to impart the desired skills sets to such special employees. In this regard, we are ready to support the industry in whatever manner we can," he added.
More than 200 differently-abled candidates participated in the drive, out of which 65% were orthopedically handicapped, including polio-inflicted, 10% were hearing impaired and 25% visually challenged. The positions for which they were interviewed included mechanical engineers, customer care executive, front/back end desk executives, administrative jobs, data entry operators, office assistants, production supervisors, telephone operators, and lab technicians.
Source: Times of India