Press Trust of India

India’s G20 Presidency: Civil 20 discussions held on workplace inclusion for persons with disabilities

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Panaji: As part of India’s G20 Presidency, a policy consultation on ‘Disability and Employment’ focussing on ways to help differently abled people contribute to society was held in Goa on Thursday, said officials.

An official spokesman said that the consultation was conducted under the Disability, Equity, Justice Working Group Civil 20 (C20), which is a global platform for independent disability interventions under Indian leadership.

The office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with the US Consulate General, Mumbai, Mariwala Health Initiative, a funding agency for innovative mental health initiatives, and not-for-profit Rising Flame held the policy consultation in Panaji.

Speaking on the occasion, Guruprasad Pawaskar, Goa’s commissioner for persons with disabilities, said that “1.3 billion persons” in the world live with a disability and exclusion of this group can cost a country up to 7 per cent of its GDP which is a high price.

“Therefore, it is in the human, social and economic interests of the global community that the needs of this group and their recommendations are included in the 2023 G20 Leaders’ Declaration,” he said.

Pawaskar said that persons living with disabilities are far more likely to be unemployed, underemployed, or economically inactive than those without disabilities.

“This systematic exclusion has significant macroeconomic implications for the G20 countries, with large and measurable economic losses related to disability that are rooted in unemployment, under-employment, and labour productivity losses because of a disabling environment that makes people with disabilities who are employed less productive than they would otherwise be,” he added.

Nidhi Ashok Goyal, a steering committee member of C20 India, said that disability-related barriers are not just a concern of a few people. “They impact all of us,” said Goyal.

“Ageing, wars, conflicts, and the pandemic all lead to people acquiring disabilities. If policymakers don’t think of us, growth and development will neither be inclusive nor will it be sustainable. It is time that persons with disabilities were seen not as individuals needing charity, but as individuals who contribute to society and to the economy,” Goyal said.


Press Trust of India

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