Amazon India Partners with DEPwD and SCPwD to empower PwD’s
October 19th, 2022.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was recently signed by Amazon and the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, as part of efforts by Amazon to enhance the skill sets of many disabled people nationwide and give them opportunities to successfully enter the workforce. The partnership between Amazon and DEPwD and SCPwD (Skill Council for Persons with Disability) strives to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the opportunities and training they require to join the workforce and lead respectable lives.
Akhil Saxena, the vice president of Customer Fulfillment - APAC, MENA, LATAM and WW Customer Service, Amazon said, "PwDs in India face many challenges when looking to develop employable skills and in gaining meaningful employment. With this project, we aim to focus on skilling and livelihood-oriented empowerment for PwDs, over a period of 12 to 24 months. This complements our existing programs to provide direct employment opportunities to under-represented cohorts."
This initiative is in unison with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's AtmaNirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) vision. The Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar welcomed the Amazon initiative saying, "This initiative will empower and create a brighter future for People with Disabilities". He added, “The social and financial empowerment of PwDs is extremely important in realizing prime minister’s vision for a self-reliant nation. I welcome Amazon India’s initiative towards building a more inclusive workforce".
Amazon aims to accomplish this vision by creating an inclusive and accepting environment to provide a sensitized training experience to the participants.
Amazon has also entered an MoU with Sarthak Educational trust, a Thiruvananthapuram-based non-profit. Amazon is going to provide SET with a 2.5 crore grant to reduce the skill gap in employable young PwDs through a Global Resource Center (GRC). The fund will also help SET's efforts towards disability by creating a centre of excellence for employment and vocational training within GRC.
Amazon will also help SET setup an exclusive job portal to enroll thousands of applicants. Amazon will not only help the non-profit with the operational costs, but will also assist as a knowledge partner to develop online-offline modules for e-commerce training.
Amazon has been active in fostering diversity and empowering varied under-represented sections along with PwDs such as, women, military veterans, and people from the LGBTQIA+ community. Company has also worked to create conductive environments for employees with hearing and speech impairments, being inclusive in management roles.
Along the similar lines, Amazon's MoU's with DEPwD, SCPwD, and SET can be good news for the thousands of PwD's who struggle to assimilate in the society but have difficulty being self-reliant because of their impairments. Amazon's various strategic partnerships have ensured the initiative has solid legs to stand on, but it might take some time to gain momentum.