Kolkata 2nd August 2019 – With a view to mainstreaming of people with disabilities (PwDs) across the employment spectrum, the 19th edition of East Zone Regional Abilympics will be organized on August 9 and 10, 2019 at the Indian Institute of Training & Development, Srijani Rd, Srijoni, Thakurpukur, Kolkata. Hosted by the National Abilympics Association of India (NAAI), under the aegis of Sarthak Educational Trust with the support of The Hans Foundation, the East Zone Regional Abilympics will be an eye-opener with competitions across a wide spectrum of skills, exclusive Job Fairs for PwDs and hard-hitting discourses on ensuring dignity and self-respect of PwDs in the country.
The Abilympics fever seems unstoppable as in a span of less than two months,Sarthak and NAAI have reached over 1,000 PwDs across the North, West and South Zone, encouraging the idea of celebrating life with all its challenges.
Abilympics tests 10 Vocational skills of the participants which include CAD Architecture, Desktop Publishing, Character Designing, E-Sport, Tailoring, Floral Arrangement, Beauty Therapy, Jewelry Making, Bakery and Cooking categories. The highlighting factor of the Abilympics is the Job Fair for persons with disabilities (PwDs), where more than 25 corporate companies from the region will be conducting a hiring drive.
In order to participate in East Zone Abilympics, candidates in the age group of 18 to 35 from West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura can send in their entries for skill competitions and Job Fair till 6 August 2019. The winners of National Abilympics will represent India at International Abilymics to be held in Russia in 2020.
Speaking about the Kolkata event, Dr. JitenderAggarwal, Founder & CEO of Sarthak Educational Trust, said, “Our aim is to provide vocational skills to the differently abled people, enabling them to have successful employment opportunities. Census data shows that unemployment rate among PwDs is over 63% and every second person among them is illiterate. We can’t afford to continue to ignore this vital segment of society as its empowerment can not only make them self-reliant but will also tremendously contribute to India’s sagging GDP”.
Once a leading dentist in Delhi, Dr. Agrawal lost central vision of his both eyes in his early 30s because of macular degeneration, a leading cause of severe and irreversible visual impairment. However, he didn’t let his personal disability cripple him and through the dint of his determination and unflinching commitment to the cause of PwDs, he formed Sarthak Education Trust in 2008. 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.
Mr. Krishan Kalra, President, NAAI further adds, “Sarthak and NAAI have been trying to highlight the issue that nearly 30 million 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 endeavor”
The Kolkata event will also witness a Regional Conference on the subject of “Corporate Progression towards Inclusion and Diversity”, and will attract participation of Corporates, CSR Heads, Govt. Officials and NGOs. Together, they will discuss the prospects and scope of empowering and providing sustainable economic stability to PwDs to lead a life of self-reliance and dignity.
Apart from Dr. Aggarwal, the event in Kolkata will be also be graced by Mr. Krishan Kalra, President NAAI and Dr. Sudhir Gupta, Vice President NAAI, Sandeep Bhargava, former Executive Vice President Vodafone Idea Ltd.