CHENNAI: Over 90 firms and nearly 4,000 candidates gathered at Loyola College to take part in a career fair on Sunday. It was exclusively for the differently-abled.
The event, organised by the Headway Foundation, Oppurtunity Infotech and Oouruni, intended to recruit the diffabled based on their ability and not disability.
The event was thought of two years ago by Raghavi K, the founder of Headway Foundation. “We wanted to connect differently abled people with socially responsible employers,” she said.
The fair provided many opportunities as people with specific disabilities were absorbed by firms with suitable vacancies.
The BPOs absorbed visually impaired candidates; software companies took in people with physical disabilities of the legs; data entry-based firms took people with hearing and speech impairment and so on.
“A lot of companies hired people for back-end jobs such as accounting, based on their skills and experience,” said Raghavi.
Standard Chartered, Tech Mahindra, Accenture, HCL, SBI Cards, Appollo, SPI Cinemas were some of the firms that took part.
Based on the mapping procedures, some candidates even had 36 companies that were willing to hire people with their respective disability thus increasing their choice. “The response we got was overwhelming. Most companies that had agreed showed up and we had thousands of participants rushing to the venue,” said Athher Ahmed, one of the co-ordinators. “The next fair will be much bigger and we will take into account the job preferences of candidates through online registration before the fair to make the mapping easier,” he added.
C Pushpanathan (52), a person with hearing and speech impairment got a job with velaiasia.com.
“The company I previously worked with closed down. Most companies are willing to offer a job only to the young diffabled. I found a job that pays me a little over Rs 12,000 a month,” he writes on a piece of paper and smiles.