COIMBATORE: As many as 622 differently abled persons landed jobs in private firms and 86 persons turned entrepreneurs across the State in the last six months, thanks to DELC (Differently Abled Employment and Livelihood centres).
Initially, the project was launched in Thiruvallur, Coimbatore and Madurai districts in 2021, through the joint initiative of respective district administrations and an NGO 'We Are Your Voice'. Following positive response, the plan was expanded across the State with the help of Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation on November 27, 2021. The service is monitored by zone offices set up at Chennai, Thiruvannamalai, Salem, Tiruchy, Tirunelveli and Coimbatore.
The initiative aims at skilling PwDs for employability and helping them create bio-data and also get small loans for self-employment. In the last six months, 3635 profiles were received, of which 622 PwDs have received job offers and 14 people are under employment training. Besides, 86 people turned entrepreneurs depending on their skills.
DELC state project manager Faheem Sait said that the process of profiling is an essential thing and it has details of the candidate like what he knows and it helps to identify the suitable job for him. He pointed out that The Right of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016 recommended private employers follow an equal opportunity policy for PwDs while offering jobs.
It recommends that companies which have more than 20 employees must recruit at least four to five per cent of PwDs. "If employers come forward to adopt it, many people would benefit. More number of beneficiaries are from Chennai and Coimbatore as there are a lot of job openings, thanks to the number of industries," he said.
Among the beneficiaries, a majority is people with locomotor disability and with minimum education qualification. Similarly, the placement ratio is high in textile and garment industries, consumer products, food and beverages production units comparing other segments.
Around 340 people get a salary above Rs 10,000/ month and a few of their salaries go beyond Rs 15,000 due to their qualifications.
Self-employment ratio is higher in locomotor disabilities with a minimum education segment and most of them prefer to set up shops like petty shops, tailoring shops, provision stores, and vegetable shops. 12 people are started cattle farming, according to their report.
Calling the DELC centres a bridge between job seekers and employers, Johny Tom Varghese, director of the Commissionerate for the Welfare of Differently-abled, encouraged PwDs to make use of it. He said tpersons with disabilities can get guidance for higher education, skill development, employment, and self-employment.