Persons with challenges should be able to live a complete and meaningful life. They may face certain problems in day-to-day life. Here, you can find information on employment, housing and various support schemes for persons with challenges.
Employment constitutes a critical element of independent living. Employment as a means of earning one’s own livelihood is integral to self esteem and self actualisation. It allows a person to live a life of dignity. At Amrit, we hold the view that Persons with Challenges (PwC) have an equal right to employment as other adult citizens of our country. Faulty and demeaning stereotypes that guide prevalent attitudes in society have been the core of the biased treatment of PwC when it comes to employment opportunities.
Things are changing. India has moved to a more inclusive legislative and policy framework. The passage of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act in 2016 -which seeks to protect PwC from all forms of discrimination- is just one of several steps that the government has taken in this direction. Conscious capitalism is pushing companies to look at PwC as an important stakeholder.
India is discovering good reasons to embrace and employ PwC!
The first step towards employment begins with skilling and professional training. PwC often demonstrate high ability in the creative fields such as painting, photography, culinary arts, dance, music etc. These could be a means of their livelihood and where in sync with the job description could add to the overall capabilities of the organisation.A number of vocational centres are available to provide skills to facilitate the transition from school to work. These centres have studied the skill sets and interests of PwC, and tailor their training for jobs that are best suited to PwC.
Some of these vocational centres are:
Sarthak Educational Trust: This educational trust provides people with challenges with skill development programmes such as leadership, social, communication, computers, and basic life skills. The 3 month training program is provided in 3 broad verticals viz., IT – ITES, Tourism & Hospitality and Organized Retail and is available to the age group of 18 – 30 years. After the completion of the programme, their employment team ensures that the candidates get employment in sectors such as Tourism & Hospitality, Organized Retail, and IT – ITES for different job profiles through Job Fairs, Employment Drives, and Interview Drives etc. with the support of their existing more than 500+ hiring partners.
F-TEC- This organisation provides a range of skill development programmes, which are short term and modular, enabling PwC to effectively function in the IT and other sectors of their choice. It also ensures the development of communication skills and other soft skills necessary to be employed in the IT sector
The Association of People with Disability (APD): ‘Fitter’ and ‘Electronic Mechanic’ vocational training programmes are offered. APD also bears the cost of these training courses and on completion, APD’s Career Guidance & Placement Cell places PwC in gainful employment.
Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled (Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai): This organisation, through its ‘Livelihood Resource Centres’, provides technical and skill training to youth with disabilities in fields like BPO, Call Centres. Hospitality, Retail, Garments, IT, ITES etc. This training programme covers communication skills, customer service, soft skills, client relations etc. Training, food and accommodation is provided free of cost/ Following completion of training, the candidate is provided with placement and post placement support.
Opportunities in Government
The Department of Empowerment of Person with Disabilities, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE), Government of India is responsible for providing job opportunities.
Government has opened up job opportunities in the public sector with 1% mandatory reservation of jobs for PwC in central government enterprises/ offices and educational institutions.
Government supports the Special Olympics for the persons with disabilities, and encourages them to take up sports as a career option.
Opportunities in Private sector
Several companies have taken a strong positive position with respect to employing PwC. Stand out companies include:
Lemon Tree Hotels: In the sector of hotel management, the Lemon Tree Hotels has particularly dedicated itself in hiring staff with challenges in customer facing jobs. The company has about 40 hotels in 24 cities with 4000 employees. Within this number, 22% individuals have Down Syndrome, Autism or Speech and Hearing impairment.
EnAble India: Enable India provides employment opportunities for PwC. It also provides courses them courses such as computer training, medical transcription, technical writing, life skills, and aims thereafter to place them with corporates.
Ability Connect @HCL/‘True Ability’ Employee Resource Group of Dell: For PwC interested in computers and other technical work, the multi-national companies, (HCL and Dell) hire persons with disability through their respective employee network.
SAP Labs: For people with acumen in engineering and science, SAP Labs is embarking on a global program to hire people with Autism as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists. It aims at hiring at least 1% of autistic persons within its workforce and increase this ratio in the coming years.
A list of employers that employ PwCs in India is available on our website. Click
In India, an adult with intellectual or developmental challenge is expected to continue living with her parents. We at Amrit, believe that this must change as the child grows into adulthood. Persons with challenges (PwCs) also desire independence and are entitled to it. They have an equal right to own a house, perhaps marry and raise their own family so that they can live a fulfilling life. For those PwC who require various levels of support, there are several residential options such as in-home support providers, shared living and adult day care.
In-home care providers can help PwCs develop and maintain independent living skills, such as personal hygiene, dressing, feeding, ambulatory needs, cooking and cleaning. Shared living provides 24-hour personal care and is for people who need more than periodic support. Another alternative is adult day care programs, which provide supportive services for the person’s physical and emotional well-being, healthcare, social and recreational activities.
Various government and private initiatives are in place to ensure independent living for people with challenges:
Housing Schemes in Government Sector:
Composite Regional Centres for Persons with Disabilities: Due to the lack of adequate facilities for rehabilitation of PwC, the Ministry of?? has set up Composite Regional Centres for Persons with Disabilities at Srinagar, Sundernagar, Lucknow, Bhopal, Kozhikode, Ahmedabad and Guwahati. These facilities to provide preventive and promotional aspects of rehabilitation like education, health, employment and vocational training, research and
manpower development for persons with disabilities etc.
Gharaunda Scheme: The National Trust was set up in the context of parents’ worry of what would happen to children with special needs when they are no more. In order to provide a sustainable solution to this, Gharaunda – a scheme of Lifelong Shelter and Care was conceived. It provides an assured minimum quality of care services throughout the life of the persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.
Indira Awaas Yojana: It is a centrally sponsored housing scheme for providing dwelling units free of cost to the rural poor living below the poverty line at a unit cost of Rs. 20,000 in plains areas and Rs. 22,000 in the hill/difficult areas. Three percent of its funds are reserved for the benefit of disabled persons living below the poverty line in rural areas.
Housing Facilities in Private Sector:
Samarthanam Trust for Disabled: Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled is a national award- winning NGO established in the year 1997. Samarthanam works for the empowerment of persons with disabilities and the underserved. It caters to people in need by providing services including quality education, accommodation, nutritious food, vocational training, sports and placement based rehabilitation.
Tamana: Situated on the premises of Tamana's Vocational Training Centre, Nai Disha is a hostel that provides a unique program for adults and adolescents with disabilities. It aims to equip mentally impaired and autistic persons with all the skills that make for a life of least dependence on others and inculcate a feeling of self-sufficiency and self-worth.
Savali: Savali is a registered charitable trust working for persons with Intellectual Disability and Cerebral Palsy. Savali provides kids with special school and day care facility, vocational training, special teachers training, awareness program and residential care.
A list of assisted housing facilities in India is available on our website. Click
Interaction with people facing similar obstacles can prove to be a source of immense strength and encouragement. Support Groups serve this purpose perfectly, as group members provide mutual support to each other in order to help each other with their problems. These groups are a place for people to give and receive both emotional and practical support as well as to exchange information, thoughts and insights. We at Amrit, would like to encourage you to reach out, open up and share your experiences with others who are going through the same turmoil and difficulties as you are. These Support Groups are in existence both for Persons with Challenges (PwC) as well as their parents/ caregivers.
Support Groups for Parents of PwC
Support Groups are helpful for parents who have children with challenges. Not only do they provide valuable information and assistance, they also help you to look after yourself – your own mental health, anxiety, depression, etc. This will help you to give your children the support they deserve. Here are some Parent Support Groups:
PARIVAAR – NFPA: Parivaar is a federation of over 150 parents’ associations and NGOs in 27 states of India working for people with Mental Retardation, Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Disabilities.
ASHA HAI: Asha Hai is an inclusive school for children with extra needs, which runs a parent program called ASPIRE that provides a platform for parents to seek and provide emotional and social support.
SAATH – DELHI: Saath is a parent support group which started as an initiative of parents of children with special needs.
PORDAC: Pordac is a Parents’ focus group that works towards providing equal opportunities to autistic and special children.
Support Groups for PwC
Persons with challenges can have huge benefits by being part of a Support Group. Support Groups allow you to expand your social network and gain confidence, thus overcoming your difficulties in social interaction. Communicating with your peers improves your ability to express yourself and gain insight as to how you can take control of your life and tackle the problems you face. Some PwC Support Groups are:
Akshya Pratisthan: The school was founded in 1988 on the principle of “education for all” and continues to be guided by it. Akshya Pratisthan enrolls challenged children with physical and / or mental incapacities and also caters to economically underprivileged children.
Tamana: Tamana is a non-profit voluntary organization created solely with the purpose of helping the cause of mentally challenged, multiply disabled and autistic.
Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled: Samarthanam works for the empowerment of persons with disabilities. It caters to people in need by providing quality education, accommodation, nutritious food, vocational training, sports and placement based rehabilitation.
A list of support groups for PwCs and their parents in Delhi-NCR is available on our website. Click
The Department for Empowerment of People with Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is the nodal body of the Government of India.
Its statutory body, the National Trust works to provide opportunities for capacity development to persons with disabilities and their families, fulfilling their rights, and promoting an inclusive society. The National Trust has a number of schemes for persons with intellectual challenges, ranging from early intervention for children to housing and care facilities. More information on these government schemes is available on the National Trust website.
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