GUWAHATI, June 24 – The Assessment of Employment Needs of Persons with Disabilities, a study conducted by the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) of Shishu Sarothi in collaboration with TISS, Mumbai, which was done in two districts of Assam and Meghalaya, has revealed worrying facts.
A finding of the study is the abysmal employment rate among persons with disabilities – 83 per cent unemployed. According to the study’s analysis, “there is lack of systematic and sustained inputs and vocational training for persons with disabilities in skill development and trades of their choice.”
The study favoured the “mapping of interests and available skills of persons with disability and the skill sets required to procure employment” in the North East, specially using local resources for generating sustainable employment solutions.
The pilot study also found that employers (about 2.8 per cent) felt that persons with disability cannot take risks at work, and about three per cent employers also felt that work processes are slowed down when they employ persons with disability.
The several recommendations suggested include awareness and sensitisation activities to make employers aware of the strength and abilities of persons with disability. It also suggested that the three per cent reservation mention in the Persons with Disability Act 1995 should be adhered to, and it is important that public sector undertakings as well as the private sector implement this reservation policy at the earliest.
According to Arman Ali, executive director of Shishu Sarothi, the need for this research arose from the lack of reliable figures on the extent of unemployment that the civil society organisations face in advocating for employment or even training of persons with disabilities.
Mukul Wasnik, Minister, Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, had recently released the study in Guwahati.