EnAble India partners with State Bank of India

 

Small profile picture of PraneshPranesh Nagri is the honorary director of EnAble India.

I joined Enable India in April 2011. I started with volunteering, just going through whatever was on the server. It introduced me to Enable India right from the days of its inception. What wonderful work done by Madam Shanti Raghavan and later continued with the efforts of Mr. Dipesh Sutariya and supported by the earliest student and now a senior staff member Ms. Vidya Rao.

At the time of my joining Enable India I was in a discussion with State Bank of India on inclusion of persons with disabilities enrolled by them and never truly employed. State Bank of India is a huge bank, a company to the Govt of India holding the treasury and thus is an important financial structure in the banking fraternity of modern India. As a result of reservation of one per cent posts for persons with disability this and other banks have been enrolling persons with disability on the rolls of the bank. Just because the Banks believe that the persons with disability cannot work in a bank the thus enrolled work force remains without work, non-remunerative. State Bank of India requested Enable India to find out the possibilities of engaging this work force in the banking main stream. Enable India had already before my joining given a formal consent to State Bank of India and had undertaken to work in the area of finding a solution. Thus the team Murali consisting of Murali Kumar and Shiva started working on inclusion of the persons employed by State Bank of India.It was wonderful for me to understand the subject of Human Resources in Banks from disability point of view. The concept of Job Analysis, profiling the employees and customising and designing work processes for them was challenging but of course satisfying.

After an initial analysis of jobs we identified some 19 roles that we said will be performed by the persons with disabilities in state bank of India. We put up a proposal to State Bank of India for piloting the training programme aimed at converting this non-remunerative work force in to a remunerative one. State Bank of India accepted the proposal and thus started the first training with a batch of 20 Visually impaired persons at State Bank Learning Centre at Baswanguddi Bangalore.

The successful completion of this training opened up the possibilities of continuing with the programmes and even training the State Bank trainers for conducting such trainings on their own. Thus, Enable India did a capacity building training programme in the shape of a “training the trainers” programme. State Bank of India has partnered with Enable India in a number of batches being trained under the process. The employees who were thought to be non-remunerative are performing human resource as on today working and managing the HAPPY ROOM (Complaint Cell), ASSET TRACKING CELLS, PASS BOOK PRINTING, GRAHAK MIRTRA SEAT, RECIEPT AND PAYMENTS (LOW VISION PERSONS) and many other seats in the branch and administrative offices. As of today we have proposed to open a centre of Excellence in Banking for State Bank of India which will look after training and employment in respect of persons with disability aiming at being a world class facility in this area.

On 26th April 2014 Enable India entered in to an agreement with three RSETTI institutions of State Bank of India for providing training to persons with disability looking for wage employment and self employment. The agreement was exchanged by Ms. Shanti Raghavan in presence of an august gathering of senior bankers at State Bank of India led by their chairperson Madam Arundhati Bhattacharya . On the occasion two publications of Enable India namely GET INSPIRED –WORKING PROFESSIONALS WITH DISABILITY, BE AN ETHICAL WORKING PROFESSIONAL WITH DISABILITY.

THANK YOU SBI. I AM FEELING PROUD OF INDIAN BANKS.

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A perfect business case – employing persons with disability

 Small profile picture of Pranesh Pranesh Nagri is the honorary director of EnAble India

 

 

 

The real art of discovering consists not in finding new lands but seeing with new eyes –Marcel Proust. We treat people on the basis of what we know about them or what we believe we know about them. And over the period of time we tend to live with our perceived notions. This is what forms the basis of our social interactions. The beliefs are so strong that we utilise them in our basic business decisions too.

In respect of disability we have since long lived with dogmas and a set of beliefs which we do not seem to be ready to change with. When a business man looks at disability what does he see? In most of the cases the businessman will see charity or a potential problem and not a potential customer. The world of business has never considered a person with disability as a potential customer. Had it been so the business setup would have made itself ready to meet the demands of this sector. The same is the case with the governments. The persons with disabilities are seen as needy recipients. Whenever they approach they are looked up to as a group needing social support or financial assistance. Thus the attention of the authorities in power ends up in a wheel chair or a few hundred rupees as assistance or a subsistence fund.

The WHO Action plan 2006-11 says that 10 percent population in world experiences some form of disability or impairment. Due to increase in population the number of people with disability is growing. That would very safely account for the largest minority. If it is so then in a country like India, looking at the population growth pattern the growth in disability sector should be significant. Lack of early intervention, environmental issues and social beliefs contribute to this growth significantly. If this is so then why does the business community not have a clear strategy of marketing to this huge group of population? If we look to banking sector hardly any branch is disability friendly in India. At least there is no such claim being made by any bank. Instead the banks are still reluctant in opening accounts and providing a financially inclusive atmosphere to persons with disability particularly the visually impaired.

Therefore if a shift in the focus will take place the whole scenario will change. When the focus will be on capabilities and abilities of the persons with disability a shift will occur in thought and action. Instead of seeing a case for charity the businesses will start to see immense possibilities in a person with disability. A customer will be visible, a business opportunity will emerge. Instead of seeing a case for assistance and subsistence a case of involvement will be seen.

When we thus speak of better education and gainful employment for the persons with disability we are speaking of benefits for everyone. A gainful employment will be possible only by providing equal opportunity through solutions. Thus equal opportunity provided and this huge human resource pool gainfully employed will help in economic growth. If we are not looking at recruiting the persons with disability to fill our job vacancies we may be missing on a great opportunity of tapping the huge potential available that can shape and change the economic scene of the country. The persons with disability form 18 Percent of the working age population. Businesses that have employed the persons with disabilities have confirmed that they would like to employ more and they do continue to employ more. Persons with disability are as reliable and as productive as anybody else. Let us understand the employment of persons with disability not as a charity but a perfect business case beneficial to everyone.

 

Make It Happen – 5 jobs you thought people with disability couldn’t do

Varnavi intern at enable india - profile pictureVarnavi is an Intern from Christ University Bangalore, and has been interning with Enable India since April 2014. Coming from a Media and Communication background Varnavi is working on communicating the message of EnAble India to a wider audience. Input for this article from Priyanka Garg, a current EnAble India trainee.

Make It Happen – 5 jobs you thought people with disabilities couldn’t do

Often people with disabilities are considered special, different from others and are hence thought of as not sufficient for certain core jobs. But with the right technological support, daily practice of required skills we can achieve targets and realise dreams. Some examples of jobs being completed by disabled people:

  1. Medicine. Many assume that a person with disability cannot possibly handle a very attentive, accurate and complex job like that of a Doctor. Saving lives, serving the society can be done if you have strong will and determination, it is not limited to any faction of the society, and this fact was proven by many like Dr. Y G Parameshwara, the first Visually Impaired Indian to become a doctor and practice medicine. Dr. Satendra Singh, who was infected with polio at the age of nine but went on to complete his MBBS degree, then completing his MD in physiology and is noted for his efforts in accessibility of public places for the disabled.
  1. Banking and Finance.The banking and money related jobs are often considered tricky for the Visually Impaired and Hearing impaired people, as there is a perception that they can’t identify or comprehend the complex math behind money management. This misconception was cleared to us by Ashish Goyal, the winner of India’s National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in 2010. Ashish was also the first Visually Impaired student at Wharton Business School, Philadelphia, he now works as a trader and a Risk Manager at JP Morgan’s Chief Investment Office. Ashish makes use of screen reader software to check his e-mails, read research reports and look at presentations, also the two computer screens on his desk, show flashing messages and spreadsheets of constantly changing financial figures linked to headphones, which read out to him in rapid speed. Another area where visually impaired may have faced a problem is in handling cash transactions. They can overcome this effectively by using new technological innovations like Cash Counting Machine, this machine helps the visually impaired not only count cash but also to check whether the currency is real or fake. EnAble India has placed more than 50 physically impaired, hearing impaired, visually impaired people in world renowned banks like State Bank of India, Goldman Sachs, ANZ and Deutsche Bank.
  1. Sports is a field where the people with disability are often not considered, but people like Marla Runyan, an American prolific runner who was the first competitor of Olympic as blind and has been a three time national champion in the women’s 5000 meters is changing perception. Devendra Jhajharia, a physically impaired with an amputated hand, a gold medal winner for Javelin throw in the 2004 summer Paralympics, has shown to the world that his disabilities don’t hinder his enthusiasm and passion for preferred sport.
  1. Hospitality.People often think that Visually Impaired can’t be good managers due to inability to “see” particular issues. Therefore visually impaired persons can’t open any restaurant. But to open any restaurant you need to know the following things like, where to open it, what to cook, what is the current trend, what is the food culture of the place, who is the target customer and how to gather effective man power to do that work. If you are able to achieve these, then no one can stop you from starting your restaurant. One such attempt is the ‘Dark Dine Invisible’ restaurant in Bengaluru which is managed by the visually impaired, the restaurant tries to make the costumers experience dining in the darkness.

Check the link below to know more about the ‘Dark Dine Invisible’ :   http://www.timeoutbengaluru.net/restaurants-caf%C3%A9s/features/see-change

  1. Dance. For a person with physical disability dancing is a big challenge, but with her strong will and passion for dance, Sudha Chandran who lost her leg in an accident accomplished to become a notable Indian classical dancer. She also has been actively involved in acting on television and in movies.

These are just a few stories which prove that disability cannot stop anyone from achieving his/her dreams. Whatever society thinks is impossible for the disabled person is possible, because impossible itself means “I M Possible”.

5 “Game-changers” for people with disabilities in the workplace

At EnAble India we believe in possibilities!

Every disabled person can add value to their community, workplace & family. Technology allows us to make more and more workplaces accessible for people with disabilities. Changes in the last few years have opened up lots of job roles for people with disabilities

  1. Screen reader – Screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA & Voice-over (MAC) allow the visually impaired to work on most applications, navigating all the important business tools such as the Microsoft office suite (Word, Excel & PowerPoint). EnAble India has trained hundreds of visually impaired candidates in using screen readers, allowing them to go on to employment in companies such as IBM, Thomson Reuters & DeutscheBank. EnAble India has created a dual sided headset, enabling visually impaired workers to use the same headset for listening to screen readers & answering the phone.

  1. Speech recognition – For people who cannot use their hands, speech recognition software enables people to give instructions to the computer with their voice – It can open programs, create emails, copy and paste, data entry, everything you can normally do. This technology is ideal for people who cannot use their hands on the keyboard. The speech recognition software that comes standard with windows software allows for a speech profile to be created, the software will learn the users’ speech pattern the more it is used. This software is a “game-changer” for people with physical disabilities with limited or no mobility in their hands and arms as well as people with cerebral palsy.

  1. Currency reader – EnAble India has created a device that reads out the value of notes, it allows visually impaired people to handle currency transactions. This opens up a huge array of jobs that have cash transactions involved. Previously, visually impaired candidates have been excluded from roles where there has been some element of handling cash. With the currency reader, the visually impaired can understand how much cash is being handled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NALD_sT-0Z4&feature=youtu.be

  1. Camera mouse. This software uses built-in cameras to track the user’s eye movements, allowing the user to move the cursor and click by blinking. A game changer for people with physical disabilities and peoplewith severe disabilities.
  1. Customized keyboards and mouse – Allows people with physically disabilities and people with Cerebral Palsy to use keyboards and mouse more easily and with greater accuracy. The keyboards & mouse are adjusted in size and shape to make it easier to manage. Depending on the nature of the disability, some candidates are able to perform at levels similar to, or better, than their non-disabled colleagues.