‘Focus on job creation is as important as skill development for differently- abled people’- avers P. C. Das, NHFDC during National Conference on Skill Development: Dynamic Approach towards Inclusive Society for Persons with Disability at Amity
To familiarize the students about disability rights in relationship to education and skill development, Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences (AIRS) organized National Conference on “Skill Development: Dynamic Approach towards Inclusive Society for Persons with Disability” at University campus, Sector 125, Noida.
The conference aimed at exploring the current scenario of skill development for people with disability and look into the approaches to ease the process of skill development for people with disability. The conference provides a platform to stakeholders, researchers, academicians, and students to discuss the issues related to enhancing the ability of disabled people to adapt to the changing times for improving the quality of life.
The Conference was inaugurated by Chief Guest P. C. Das, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation; Dr. K. Vikram Sima Rao, Director, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment; Dr. J. P. Singh, Chairman, Amity Foundation for Developmental Disabilities; Dr. K. B. Kumar, Dean Faculty of Rehabilitations sciences; Dr. Jayanti Pujari, Director, AIRS and Pallavi Chauhan, Joint Director, AIRS.
Sharing his views on disability, P. C. Das said that the meaning of disability is vast that it cannot be explained in a single sentence. He pointed that initially people were not much aware of the rights of disabled people; however the perceptions have changed now. He remarked that from 1981 onwards, Government of India started an initiative to create an awareness regarding key challenges, rights, and opportunities for people with disabilities. Mr. Das stressed that people with disability face many difficulties in life and despite the country undergoing socio-economic changes, they are still marginalized. He averred that it is high time for society, individuals and government to focus on inclusive education, economic growth and social empowerment for disabled people. Das highlighted that this year, Government has launched a National Action Plan for skilling of persons with disabilities through vocational training which will increase their income. However, generating meaningful employment for them is the area of concern.
Commenting on inclusive society for differently- able people, Dr. K. Vikram Sima Rao said that the meaning of inclusive society is not limited to providing aid to disabled people by giving wheelchair, building a ramp or including them in the education system, but it includes providing them with jobs and equal rights with people without a disability. He mentioned that the Constitution of India gives equal rights to every citizen, but it is not practiced in reality. Stating the example of Ira Singal, Topper of Civil Service Examinations 2015, Dr. Rao apprised that by giving right opportunities, the differently able people are not only leveling with people without disabilities but are also excelling in several fields. He remarked that India’s commitment for disable people is at par with international level as the country has signed a MoU with United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. J. P. Singh said that in many countries, unemployment amongst persons with disabilities is widespread, due to a lack of access and adequate services. He stressed that improving vocational training and employment opportunities for people with disability is a critical element for enhancing their equality of life along with their families. He emphasized that in India, there are many efforts have been taken to enhance the skills of differently abled people through Vocational Rehabilitation Centres. Dr. Singh averred that prolific speakers will deliberate upon various issues pertaining to disabled society including challenges, vocational training, skill development, employability, employment opportunities and quality of life during two-day conference.
During the conference, a souvenir was released by the dignitaries. The two-day National Conference, witnessed discussions and deliberations upon various topics including “Challenges of Skill Development for Persons with Disability: Indian Scenario” by Dr. Jeetendra Aggrawal, CEO, Sarthak Foundation; “Vocational Curriculum Employment and Employability: Developmental Disability Perspectives” by Dr. Neera Chawla, Director, Muskan; “Women Empowerment; Challenges in Skill Development” Shalini Khanna, NAB and “Creating capabilities through CBR” by Dr. Jayanti Pujari, Director, AIRS amongst others.