Bengaluru, Karnataka, India:
SBI Foundation, Microsoft, and the American India Foundation (AIF) through their joint collaboration under Project SAMEIP hosted the 4th in a series of round tables, on "Accessibility, Technology, and Career Pathways for Persons with Disabilities".
India is home to 26.8 million Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). While 36% of them are employable, they face enormous physical, attitudinal, and informational barriers to equal opportunities at work. They, especially women PwDs also experience higher rates of unemployment, economic inactivity, and insufficient social protection which is key to reducing extreme poverty.
Countering these impediments, under ‘SAMEIP’, Microsoft and SBI Foundation bring in thought leadership and tech expertise, including best practices on accessibility, to enable career pathways for underserved young persons with disabilities in the digitally transforming BFSI sector.
The conference brought together over 100 industry experts and thought leaders such as Prateek Madhav, CEO-ATF Labs – Moderator; Roy C Thomas, D&I Lead, NASSCOM Foundation; Vivek Mishra, Director-Support Engagement, Microsoft India; Meha Grover, Director - Chief of Staff, Societe Generale Solution Centre; Nafeesa Begum, Chief Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Officer, First AM; Sushmita Jain, Global Disability Inclusion Lead, Wipro, among others to strengthen dialogue, increase employment opportunities and create a thriving environment for persons with disabilities (PwDs). The conference discourse focused on breaking barriers, adopting digital technologies, and retention of PwDs in the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector.
Speaking at the event Shri Lalit Mohan, President & Chief Operating Officer at SBI Foundation, said, “Today's economy relies heavily on technology for growth and success, but this growth is incomplete without the participation of the talented pool of PwDs. While SBI is leading the technological advancement in the banking sector, we at SBIF are committed to promoting the inclusion and empowerment of PwDs in the BFSI sector.”
Gunjan Patel, Head of Philanthropy and Community Engagement, at Microsoft India, said, “Microsoft India aspires to build and nurture an inclusive culture that encourages greater participation of people with disabilities using world-class tech resources. In collaboration with the SBI Foundation, our objective is to prepare PwD youths for career pathways in the BFSI industry. We are excited to partner with organizations on our quest to make the world more inclusive.”
Highlighting the critical need for collaboration towards inclusion and participation of PwDs in the workforce, Kamesh Sanghi, Director, Livelihoods, American India Foundation said, "Initiating and promoting multi-lateral dialogues around building technology-enabled inclusive workplace has been at the core of AIF's vision to support persons with disabilities under Project SAMEIP.”
SBI Foundation (SBIF) is the CSR arm of the State Bank of India. True to its tradition of service beyond banking, the foundation currently works in over 28 states and union territories of India, on rural development, healthcare, education, livelihood and skill development, youth empowerment, promotion of sports, and more. SBI Foundation believes in reflecting the ethos of the SBI group, in running interventions that are ethical, promote growth and equality, and create a positive impact on society. https://www.sbifoundation.in/
About American India Foundation
The American India Foundation (AIF) is dedicated to catalyzing social and economic change in India and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India. AIF is committed to improving the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth. AIF does this through high-impact interventions in education, health, and livelihoods, because poverty is multidimensional. AIF’s unique value proposition is its broad engagement between communities, civil society, and expertise thereby building a lasting bridge between the United States and India. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with non-government organizations (NGOs) to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001, AIF has so far impacted the lives of 12.9 million of India’s poor across 35 states and union territories. Learn more at www.AIF.org
About Project SAMEIP
Project SAMEIP, a joint initiative of SBI Foundation & Microsoft India, aims to create a disability-friendly workplace in the digitally transformed BFSI sector through advocacy and collaboration with like-minded corporates. It is led on the ground by American India Foundation, and the project partners include Team Lease Skills University, V-shesh, and WinVinaya Foundation.
Utilizing the F.A.T.E (Facilitation.Alliance.Technology.Employment) model, Project SAMEIP, since 2020, has empowered 500 PwDs through skills development and linked 338 PwDs with sustainable livelihoods within the BFSI sector across Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. In the second phase of the program, it would empower 650 PwDs through skill development and place 455 people with disabilities across the BFSI sector in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore.
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