Ahead of the International Day for Persons with Disability on December 3, Nipman Foundation announces winners of the Equal Opportunity Awards at Taj Vivanta in New Delhi. This award is an initiative by the Nipman Foundation to recognise companies and institutions that promote employment of people with disabilities.
The Chief Guest at the event was Mr. Baijayant Jay Panda, BJD MP, and Mr. Awanish K. Awasthi, Joint Secretary, DEPwD, was the guest of honour. The award was held for the third consecutive year post its institution in 2014. Ernst & Young is the official tabulator.
The winners of this year’s award are: ANZ Bengaluru Hub (Karnataka), IBM Pvt ltd India (Bangalore) and Sunrise Candles (Maharashtra). On receiving the award, Dilpreet Singh, VP HR & HR Head, IBM India / South Asia said, “IBM is committed to create a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Very few companies can boast of an inclusive culture like ours. IBM has over a 100 year heritage of commitment to equal opportunity and to bring technology to aid/support people with disabilities.”
“IBM’s Policy for People with Disabilities (PwD) has since revolved around 3As – Accommodation, Accessibility and Attitude. Our approach to equal opportunity has steadily evolved to appreciate and respect differences between diverse groups and the workplace issues they face. At IBM, it is not just about hiring a candidate; it is also ensuring the right-fit-for-the-right-job, providing career opportunities, mutual respect and making PwD IBMers feel on par with their colleagues.”
The initiatives taken to build an inclusive environment at ANZ include – PwD staff is more than 2% of the total staff and more than 80% of the PwD staff has been promoted at least once. In 2015, PwD hiring in Bengaluru represented more than 50% of PwD’s hired by the global counterparts of ANZ. PwD representation includes people across disabilities such as hearing and speech impairment, visual impairment, orthopedic disability, autism, paralytics and cerebral palsy.
Sunrise Candles is a Mahabaleshwar based candle making company founded by a visually impaired entrepreneur, Mr. Bhavesh Bhatia. Sunrise Candles is 100% run by visually impaired individuals, which includes over 2,280 persons.
Two applicants were awarded special commendations, Interglobe Aviation Limited (Indigo Airlines – Haryana) for their all round inclusive environment for PwD, including for staff and passengers and Squaremeal Food Private Limited for being an upcoming inclusive brand.
Priyanka Malhotra is the Managing Trustee of the award and Nipun Malhotra is the Award Curator & CEO.
While announcing the winners, Nipun Malhotra said “We believe that there is nothing more dignified than a person working and earning her/his own livelihood. We realized the need to recognize workplaces that actively employ the Disabled. We hope that through this award and the stories of companies led by leaders having a vision beyond profit will kick start a ripple effect. I thank all the applicants for being brand ambassadors of Equal Opportunity. And I also thank the jury for agreeing to undertake the difficult task of choosing the three winners.”
Nipman Foundation is a non-profit organisation established in 2012. The foundation aims to provide health and education facilities to people with disabilities and the underprivileged. It works across issues – education, vocational training, building awareness, counseling and accessibility. Its recent initiative, Wheels for Life is a ‘wheelchair’ gifting platform that reaches out and links people who need wheelchairs and cannot afford them, to donors.