NCPEDP announces NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards 2020

NCPEDP announces NCPEDP-Mindtree Helen Keller Awards 2020

NCPEDP invites nominations to the NCPEDP- Mindtree Helen Keller Awards 2020 to honour individuals and organizations working towards promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The 21st edition of the awards, this is the 5th year of  NCPEDP’s partnership with Mindtree Limited, a company passionate about creating equal employment opportunities and an enabling work environment for persons with disabilities, for this prestigious award. 

Each year a total of 10 Awards are given away – 3 each in the two individual categories and 4 for role model companies/organizations.

The Helen Keller Awards were instituted in 1999 as a result of the findings of a survey conducted of the Top 100 Companies of India by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP). The results showed that the average percentage of employment of people with disabilities was as follows: in the public sector: 0.54 per cent; in the private sector: 0.28 per cent; and in the multinationals: 0.05 per cent. While the situation has improved to some extent, inclusive employment opportunities, even after so many years, remain limited to a few sectors and geographies. 

The discourse assumes greater importance in the times of the pandemic. The Covid19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional practices to offer innovative ways of working and provide reasonable accommodations enabling people with/without disabilities to remain a part of the mainstream workforce. This new norm of work from home culture is being celebrated as an opportunity for women to re-start or start their professional careers, however, people with disabilities have been altogether missed in the discourse. 

Advocacy on Employment of people with disabilities is one of the tenets on which NCPEDP’s core principles lie and for over several years, NCEPDP has been working relentlessly to make a difference and create a level playing ground for people with disability in terms of employment opportunities and we see this new normal as a way to change the status quo- in terms of how people work and the mindsets and attitudes of employers and employees.

Arman Ali, Executive Director, NCPEDP shares, “Even after 2 decades of Helen Keller Awards, the discourse on employment generation for people with disabilities has hardly changed. We are still very far from it being recognized as a rights-based issue.”

“To compound the situation, we are confronted with the spectre of the disappearance of scores of employment opportunities due to the ravaging pandemic. The employment situation is grave and this issue can no longer be avoided. It is time for the private sector to come forward and offer concerted, creative, and sustainable initiatives so that people with disabilities can remain as a  part of the employment mainstream.”