Encouraging the idea of celebrating life with all its challenges, the 19th edition Regional Abilympics in Delhi brought around 400 People with Disabilities (PwDs) from different northern states Delhi/NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh at the 2-day event held at Lady Irwin College at New Delhi, competing with their vocational skills and underscoring their potential for employment across the industry spectrum. Delhi NCR alone shows 2,34,882 PwDs in the area out of which 1,38, 379 are Male and 96,503 are female.
The Capital witnessed the talent and competitive spirit of PwDs on such a massive scale with 22 promising PwDs securing their place in the National Abilympics, which will be held in November this year, to further qualify for the International Abilympics in Moscow in 2020. The Delhi round saw 7 participants winning Gold, 8 Silver and 7 Bronze in various categories like E- Sports Gaming, Bakery, Floral Arrangement, and Cooking.
The event hosted by the National Abilympics Association of India (NAAI), under the aegis of Sarthak Educational Trust with the support of The Hans Foundation was an eye-opener for Delhiites with national competitions, Job Fairs for PwDs and hard-hitting discourses on the self-sustainability of PwDs in the country. Over the years, Sarthak has trained and secured lucrative placement for over 16,000 PWDs across the industry segments through its 18 centres in India.
The highlight of the event was the Job Fair for the PwDs which attracted country’s renowned brands like like Reliance Fresh, Deal money, Big Basket, Metro Cash n Carry, Capgemini, Aegis, Concentrix, Pullman, Olive Group, Lemon Tree Hotels, Bigtel Solutions, Reliance Smart, Wanour, Minda conducted a drive to hire PwDs.
Ms. Renu Rathod, Manager – Talent & Acquisition, Capgemini who was one of the recruiter opined, “We need to provide the right infrastructure, environment & appropriate projects wherein their skill set will suit the opening. We as an employer don’t keep any disparity towards PwDs and currently we have 500 PwDs working with us. We are still working towards making our workspace PwDs compliant with services like Electric Cars, Wheelchair Access, Braille signages & more”
“We have tried to provide jobs through Abilympics, so that the PwDs can live their life as a confident young workforce, maintaining their self-respect and dignity. We are very confident that hard work and persistence will take differently abled people to higher levels of confidence, and we will be reaching out to villages to reach out to more and more PwDs in the country. We are very pleased that this year at the Job 120 promising youth have bagged lucrative jobs”, shared Dr. Jitender Aggrawal, Founder & CEO of Sarthak Educational Trust while adding “Understanding the potential amongst these talented people, Haryana Government has given us land to develop first-ever, Global Resource Centre of the Country for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) at Gurgaon. The Centre will have five wings addressing health care & education, skill development, disability sensitization, incubation centre & technology upgrade, International collaboration & media & communication advocacy programs. The centre will help address inclusivity issues of PwDs, globalize resources, and appeal to corporates & masses to come together”. He also shared 65% Divyangjan live in villages and Sarthak Education Trust intends to reach out to rural employment and create Divyang entrepreneurs”.
Mr. Krishan Kalra, President, NAAI at the inaugural panel on day 1 voiced, “Sarthak and NAAI have been trying to highlight the issue that nearly 30million PWDs in the country are looking for jobs and empowerment and not charity and sympathy. There are many jobs that they can do better than the able bodied personnel; today’s event should be of great help in the endeavour”
A Regional Conference on ‘Corporate Progression Toward Inclusion and Diversity’ also saw the who’s who from several Government officials, NGOs, Corporates and their CSR heads, discussing prospects and scope of empowering and providing sustainable livelihood to PWDs in order to help them lead a dignified life.
Abilympics are skill-based competition that provides a platform for the differently-abled to compete among themselves. Organised every year, the events test competitors’ mental, physical and creative abilities. Participants get a chance to display skills at everything from computer programming to floral arrangement. Sanjeev Kumar from Lucknow who was hearing impaired won a gold medal in tailoring skill test and intends to start his own business one day. Likewise Lakshmi Kumari from Dehradun who won a bronze medal, plans to teach the floral arrangement skill to students back in Dehradun.