Post-pandemic opportunities for differently abled – education


India faces a huge skill gap when it comes to skill training. According to the data related to the gap in skills training released by Census 2011, 104 million new employees would need skills training and 298 million of the current workforce would require additional skills training by 2022.

As per the Census in 2011, out of the 121 crore population, about 2.68 crore persons are disabled which is 2.21% of the total population. Addressing barriers faced by the differently abled, would not only unlock their potential but would also help them in contributing to the world. With sustainable development goals the Government has made various focused initiatives for µinclusive development of the differently abled through free online skills training programs.

According to the report on Disabled Persons in India-A statistical profile 2016, the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities (2006), recognizes that, Persons with Disabilities (PwD) are valuable human resources for the country. The policy seeks to create an environment that provides equal opportunities, protection of their rights of the differently abled along with full participation in the society.

The economic well-being of a nation can be augmented by creating entrepreneurial opportunities for a sustainable livelihood of the differently abled through skilling, up- skilling and re-skilling. One such initiative under PMKVY is by offering skill certifications.

The sole objective of this initiative was to enable a large proportion of youth in India to take up industry skill training for securing a better livelihood. Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD) is one such organization that was created with a National Vision of skilling Persons with Disability and offering them meaningful industry relevant skill based training.

However, with the pandemic there has been a rise in the social connect and low personal connect due to which the already existing infrastructure of education is undergoing a sea change. The HRD ministry is trying its best by offering free skills training to the differently-abled, helping them bag better paying jobs, across rural and urban India. Efforts have been made to blend distance learning with practical skills along with innovation of inexpensive online methods to impart knowledge and skills.

Government and private academic institutions along with corporates are collaborating to offer best industrial training and skill programs at low-cost in EDU Tech, FMCG, Automobile and telecom startup companies. While the Pandemic has hit at its peak, online platforms have given new avenues to the differently abled to explore vivid job opportunities and mainstream career options of their choice to be a part of the mainstream society.

FINANCIAL ANALYST/ RELATIONSHIP MANAGER– This is a great option for those with hearing disability or with those who are visually impaired. This job role offers individuals a liberty to communicate with their clients directly and offer business or portfolio guidance. In the times of pandemic becoming a financial analyst can be a great opportunity for many who are differently abled. For being a qualified FA / RM would be BA, BCom, Bachelor of Science (Bachelor’s degree in accounting/ finance/ economics), having strong analytical and data gathering skills, good business acumen, knowledge of markets and portfolio investment and financial modelling.

HEALTH SERVICES MANAGER/ ADMINISTRATOR– This administrative job in the healthcare institutions such as clinics/ path labs and hospitals does not require mobility. The mode of communication is monotonous and not vibrant. The job profile does not demand long hours of standing or mobility from one place to the other. Also during the time of pandemic this role has gathered tremendous demand due to the lack of health service managers in hospitals. Qualification for this is having a qualified degree in Bachelor of Arts (BA) / Bachelor of Science (BS), high school graduation from a renowned institution. The job description would include the person to be involved in front desk patient query handling, online query handling of the patient and form filling and data entry management.

HEALTH INSURANCE AGENT -A great mainstream career opportunity for those who have visual imparity or have a hearing disability. Being a health insurance agent is a great option at the time of pandemic with more and more demand rising and the focus of the retail customer to be covered under a secure health policy. Qualification required is to be a graduate from an eligible institution, a High school graduate certification, must have a proven sales ability and must qualify and pass an examination conducted by the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority).

COUNSELLOR-This job role suits best for those who have already experienced life’s challenges and have learnt to live with the challenges of their disabilities. Qualifications would be BEd from a renowned institution, graduate in any discipline and the candidate must be good in communication.

(The author is Mr. Prashant Agarwal, President of Narayan Seva Sansthan. Views expressed here are personal.)



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